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Publisher's Summary

The follow-up to her much-acclaimed debut, A Beautiful Place to Die, Malla Nunn’s Let the Dead Lie takes listeners back to 1953 South Africa.

When Cooper discovers the body of a young child on the Durban docks, he resists the urge to figure out what happened and leaves it for the local police. But after he is accused of the crime, he has 48 hours to clear his name and find a depraved killer.

©2010 Malla Nunn (P)2010 W.F. Howes

Critic Reviews

"With this gripping sequel set in South Africa in 1953, Nunn, who is also a screenwriter, proves that her impressive debut novel, A Beautiful Place to Die, was no fluke....Nunn deftly balances suspense and deduction as she offers a revealing glimpse into South African society under the segregation laws promulgated by the ruling National Party." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cary
  • Napa, CA, United States
  • 10-08-10

Another winner!

Top notch story with well fleshed out and totally believable characters. Wonderful evocation of the subtropical port city of Durban in the 1950s and the apartheid-dominated milieu of this multi-ethnic city. The narrator, Saul Reichlin, is perfectly suited to the task. His multiple accents and pacing hit the mark. (I would hope we could hear Reichlin's renditions of yet another fine southern African author: Deon Meyer)

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Really enjoy these characters

Any additional comments?

Really good narration and a satisfying follow up to the first novel. I eagerly await the third installation to be narrated and made available here.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Story!

If you could sum up Let the Dead Lie in three words, what would they be?

This is the second book I have read by Malla Nunn. It is a continuing story from her first book (A Beautiful Place to Die) with some of the same characters. The story takes place after apartheid and sense of place is very good. Characterization is strong, the story beautifully written capturing the frustrations and sorrows of the time. The narration by Saul Reichlin was excellent and I highly recommend this very enjoyable read!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, as I was never sure who the enemies were.

Have you listened to any of Saul Reichlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but will look for him in the future.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, sad....

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 08-04-16

Gritty Mystery

A young boy lies murdered in the stockyards of Durban, South Africa. A few days later, two women are killed in the rooming house where he lived. The South African police bring in their top suspect, Emmanuel Cooper. The problem? Cooper is not the killer.

Who is Emmanuel Cooper? He is a World War II veteran who returned to South Africa to become a Detective Sergent in the police force. When a new law sweeps through and reclassifies him as non-white, he loses his job and his status as a white man. He now does undercover work for Major van Niekerk, his former boss in the police. Unwilling to lose Cooper's skills, he now uses him undercover.

When Cooper is hauled in and about to be charged with the three murders, van Niekerk works out a deal. Cooper has forty-eight hours to find the real killers or else he will be charged and probably killed. As he races to solve the murders, he is helped by a strange collection of people, a Zulu ex-policeman, a Jewish doctor who has survived the German death camps, and the mistress of his mentor. There are plots and counterplots; betrayals and secrets revealed, making the ultimate secret that much more difficult to reveal.

Malla Nunn has written a gritty detective novel that will entrance the listener. Cooper is an intriguing hero, one that the listener will remember long after the last page is read. The setting is done realistically, and the plot unfolds logically. The gut-wrenching reality of the apartheid laws in South Africa are portrayed in a way that takes the reader into the lives of those unjustly discriminated against. This book is recommended for all mystery enthusiasts.

Saul Reichlin once again was outstanding with the delivery of the story

5 of 9 people found this review helpful