Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wake Up Dead: A Thriller / by Roger Smith

When car thieves Disco and Godwynn pull a job on a spiffy-looking Mercedes one sweltering Cape Town night, little do they suspect they're stealing more than just a car, because more than one person is just a tad bit interested in this particular vehicle, its contents and passengers. The victims of the carjacking, Roxy Palmer, a former runway model, and her husband Joe had been on their way to deliver a hefty sum of laundered cash to a local mercenary outfit when the hit came, leaving Joe murdered and Roxy temporarily at a loss for her next move before she makes a daring choice to pursue her husband's murderers and retrieve the money.

Meanwhile, Billy Afrika, a marine just returned from a soldiering stint in Iraq, knows that Roxy knows where the money, his money--funds owed him by his mercenary boss--can be found and will stop at nothing to get it. Just out of jail, a dangerous psychopath named Piper is also looking for something of 'his'--former cellmate Disco. Piper does things with regard for his convenience only, evidenced with his exceedingly bloody break out of prison after which he wastes no time in employing the same murdering tactics to find his former lover. As the action and suspense escalates, so does the tension as all the players involved sense that this cat and mouse game will soon culminate in nothing short of an all out bloodbath.

Hailing from South Africa, Roger Smith has crafted a gripping thrillride of a novel and a worthy follow-up to his breakout debut, the unanimously lauded Mixed Blood. Reminiscent of Elmore Leonard where sequencing, action and violence are at the forefront of the story, Smith handily incorporates enough clever dialogue to match his fast-moving characters and their volatile situations. Don't look for too much depth to the protagonists; most won't be around long enough for you to get a feel for anyway. In addition to the rapid pace and sleek narrative, another element adding texture to the book is the setting. Cape Town is currently a burgeoning metropolis, uniquely located, economically lucrative and as socially diverse as any of its Northern Hemisphere counterparts. It's a hotbed for well-conceived fiction like this to use as a background. (FIC SMITH) 

1 comment:

Terzio said...

Want to look inside the book? Here is the link to Roger's wonderful "Biblet" an excerpt with a video trailer.