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review 2017-07-25 05:10
Greatly recommended! lots of characters and history
The Monster's Daughter - Michelle Pretorius

This is not a book to read, leave and come back to later. The reader needs to read this carefully and put the pieces of the puzzle together to understand how every character was involved and when the loose ends have been tied, it’s an amazing read and we’re left with a wow experience at the final page of the book.


It’s definitely not a quick read but meant to be read slowly as the book spans through the early 1900’s right until present time. One must also follow who’s who in the book and keep in mind the characters. As the ones in the past are still playing in part in what’s happening in the present. Its written through different various points of view so the reader gets both sides of the story but it’s so well written and eventually the reader will be witness as to how the murder has taken place and how Alet is central to what’s happening. The plot was very well done. Some historical information may help to better understand the situation if needed, but otherwise it’s very clear and understandable. What may cause a problem is there’s a lot of terminology and references to various words in Afrikaans. Some words do make sense but others may need some dictionary to help understand it better.


What I enjoyed the most of this book is how characters are tied into the past and the present. The book goes back and forth and you get to see them as how they were in the past, and how they are in the present. Their personalities don’t really change, but you get to see how they evolve and what led them to their positions, and how all of them come together to make this murder case.


Alet is, from the start of the book one big mess (thanks to her past) and although she’s not that likable, she earned my sympathy at the end when her investigation reaches a climax. You certainly feel for her at the end of the book but at the same time admire what she went through to get the information to solve the murder case and you admire her strength afterwards for what she had to do, to put it behind her.


At times this book can be a hard read as corruption is rampant through the police force and those in higher positions are not entirely innocent or have shiny records of achievement. Yet because of their privilege and of who they are, they’ve gotten away with it. You feel the injustice and the resentment throughout the book. You feel sympathy towards those who have been wronged and bear the abuse. I really felt for Flippie, and Jacob. Trudie/Tessa who was central to this story along with Alet, her story was so interesting as all she wanted to was to live peacefully and lead a somewhat ‘normal’ life. It was interesting to read her story from when she was born to the present.


I really enjoyed this novel, I was hoping it would be a series, but perhaps it’s better if it is a stand alone. I don’t think Alet could have gone on that far with what she went through. I greatly recommend this book to anyone who has a liking to a good murder thriller, with historical fiction mixed in. It’s a long read but well worth the journey.

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review 2017-01-24 02:47
Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present - Harriet A. Washington

I had to read a few chapters of this book in college and finally went back to read the whole thing through.


It is a horrible fact that this book had to be written, especially considering its length and that it would be impossible to cover all of the injustices African American have faced in regards to the American medial system.


But Washington does an amazing job examining this dark topic. This is a great book. It is often difficult to read, but it definitely a must read.


I really liked that Washington made it a point to go beyond the Tuskegee syphilis study, because many people (my own education included) really only know about the syphilis study. It is the go-to example of racial injustice in American medical research. But the sad truth is that there are so many more examples as well. Obviously, Washington could not possibly go into all of them, but she does a very good job of discussing a few.


While the book often feels very negative due to the subject matter, Washington ends on a high note by making some suggestions on how the system could be improved upon to ensure that people are able to give actual informed consent and are not taken advantage of by biased researchers.


This is a phenomenal book. It is thorough and well-written.


The language used if often not very objective, but when discussing human rights issues, it is understandable that one would use emotionally-saturated words.


This is a very important book, especially for those in the field of medicine. Washington's examination of African American's iatrophobia and its history have very important implications for health care at the present time and in the future.

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review 2015-12-11 11:47
Mike Nicol: Bad Cop
Bad Cop: Ein Kapstadt-Thriller - Mike Nicol

Bartholomeu Pescado, genannt Fish, ist ein surfender Privatdetektiv in Südafrika, der Gras an Uni-Professoren vertickt, um über die Runden zu kommen und sich regelmäßig von seiner Mutter anhören muss, doch nun endlich erwachsen zu werden und seinen Jura-Abschluss zu machen. Geld hätte er tatsächlich nötig, denn Aufträge -auch von seiner Freundin, Anwältin Vicky Kahn, werden immer knapper. 

Mehr aus Zufall gerät ausgerechnet Fish dem "Bad Cop" des Buches, dem ehemaligen Polizeipräsidenten Jakob Mkezi, in die Quere, als dieser versucht, sein Vermögen zu vergrößern. 

Erzählt wird auf mehreren Zeitebenen. Die eingefügten, zwischen 1977 und 1994 spielenden "Todesschwadron"-Kapitel, erzählen die Geschichte von vier Geheimagenten, die sich als Auftragskiller für das Regime verdingen und nach dem Ende der Apartheid untertauchen. Wie Mike Nicol diese Ebenen zusammenführt und die scheinbar unzusammenhängenden Ereignisse miteinander verknüpft, ist virtuos und zeigt ein Prinzip des Buches auf: Wie die Vergangenheit die Gegenwart einholt - und das meist im negativen Sinne. 

Ein sehr empfehlenswerter Thriller.







Mike Nicol: Bad Cop. Ein Kapstadt-Thriller. Übersetzt von Mechthild Barth. München: btb Verlag, 2015. 544 Seiten, 9,99 Euro. ISBN 978-3-442-74845-7

(Disclaimer: Ich erhielt ein kostenloses Rezensionsexemplar vom Randomhouse Bloggerportal, vielen Dank)

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review 2015-10-03 00:00
THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story (The Sub-Saharan Saga Book 1)
THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Sto... THE ZEBRA AFFAIRE: An Apartheid Love Story (The Sub-Saharan Saga Book 1) - Mark Fine Captivating...Enlightening...Passionate

This eloquently written novel gripped at my heart strings. The words seemed to leap off the page and come to life.

In South Africa, the Spring of 1976, life for a black man from Malawi and a white Afrikaner living in Johannesburg could not be more vastly different...and separate.

After a near fatal car crash almost blinds and disables Stanwell, Elsa comes to his aid. Fate quite literally yielded Stanwell at Elsa's feet when his pick up truck crashed. Elsa, not seeing a black man but only a man...another human being in need. She risks it all to nurse him back to health. And with the assistance of her friend, as well as Stanwell's employer DGF, Stanwell receives proper medical treatment. An unlikely and forbidden love affair blooms under the racist rule of the apartheid government.

While at times it was hard to read about the hate and degradation so many endured under this racist regime, it was a real eye opener. Mark Fine beautifully weaves historical facts and references in his work. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy history and culture.

5 out 5 stars!

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review 2015-01-31 08:07
An Immoral Proposal: Forbidden Love Under Apartheid - Jennifer B Graham

"An Immoral Proposal: Forbidden Love Under Apartheid" by Jennifer B. Graham is an amazing memoir about a 'Coloured' woman in South Africa during Apartheid. Showing what her life was like and that of other 'Coloureds' compared to those of the Blacks and the Whites, Graham brings not only a new or under-representated perspective, she also opens up honestly about her individual cicrumstances. A heart-felt love story, a gripping memoir and much valued insights for this reader. I liked the way Graham presented the facts and let them often speak for themselves.
An eye-opener and an emotional experience that I cannot recommend enough.

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