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.
South African writer Roger Smith is one of the hottest names in crime fiction. He’s been described as “master of cooly described nightmare” by Marcus Müntefering (Der Spiegel Crime Novels of the Month) and “the Elmore Leonard of South Africa” by Mike Ripley (Shotsmag). Smith’s debut thriller, Mixed Blood (2009), was nominated for a Spinetingler Best Novel award in the U.S.
With every rising sun, there’s a chance you could wake up dead in the Cape Flats – that large expanse of townships housing the so-called Coloured communities in Cape Town, South Africa. Roger Smith writes about this possibility and the people and events that make this spectre of doom a reality. If there are gang movies, Wake Up Dead: A Cape Town Thriller is a gang novel.