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The Fallen: A Jade de Jong Investigation by Jassy Mackenzie
Review by Verna Suit
Soho Crime Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616950651
Date: 10 April 2012 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

PI and bodyguard Jade de Jong decides she needs to get out of Johannesburg to avoid doing an unsavory job for a gangster friend as repayment for a favor. So she books a week’s vacation in St. Lucia (a resort town on the east coast of South Africa, not the Caribbean island) with her significant other, police superintendent David Patel. But when he arrives he has bad news that probably means the end of their relationship. Soon there is more bad news: one of the two scuba instructors is murdered and the other one disappears.

The murders at the dive resort may be connected to a suspicious operation going on at nearby Richards Bay. A parallel story involves two men, known for the time being only as Chetty and Zulu, who are clearly up to something illegal. They have gotten a shady marine engineer out of prison to make repairs on something big and secretive at the Richards Bay shipyard. The project's purpose remains a mystery for most of the story, although astute readers may gather it has something to do with an effort to resume titanium mining that was halted because of the environmental damage it caused.

More by Jassy Mackenzie:
Jade De Jong series:
* Random Violence
* Stolen Lives
* The Fallen

Jade accidentally crosses paths with the ex-con marine engineer, Bradley, when she attempts to visit the grave of her mother, who is buried in Richards Bay. Bradley, a paranoid psycho, thinks Jade is on his trail and tries to eliminate her. After repeated attacks on her life, some of which one can't imagine how she will escape from, Jade starts to figure out what's going on and shifts into attack mode.

The Fallen is third in the Jade de Jong series and continues to offer the trademark combination of high suspense, complex story, and almost non-stop action. Jade learns unsuspected things about her mother and her own past. The reader learns about the protected ecosystems of the St. Lucia wetlands area, with its resident hippos, leatherback turtle breeding grounds, and string of huge coastal dunes.

The Fallen is an exciting thriller and very worthy entry into the growing body of South African crime writing.

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