Published in 2011 by Serpent’s Tail, Dust Devils, written by Roger Smith, is a novel full of pace. At the center of the plot, is Inja Moses Mazibuko, a hired gun who does the dirty work of his political principal without asking questions. He’s trigger-happy and dispenses of bodies with the same ease and regularity the normal world does with unfinished food. We’re introduced to him while he’s on assignment in Cape Town to eliminate yet another statistic – Ben Baker, who knows too much about Mazibuko’s boss, the Chief. To make a clean sweep, he must also finish off Baker’s mistress, Rosie Dell.
Praised in South Africa as one of the most stunning début novels in decades, Sifiso Mzobe’s “Young Blood” is a page-turner that subtly mixes a crime fiction plot, hard-headed characters and latent social comment. Published by Kwela Books in 2010, the book won the prestigious Sunday Times Literary Award for best fiction – a rare honour for a first-time novelist in his early thirties. Booze, sex, drugs, stolen cars and easy money: “Young Blood” is a gangster story set in Umlazi, Durban’s biggest township.