BAD SEEDS by Jassy Mackenzie


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A nuclear power plant reeling from a sabotage attempt and the slippery loyalties of those in charge make Johannesburg private eye Jade de Jong question whether it's the uranium or the people who are more dangerous.

“Going nuclear” is generally a warning that doesn’t carry any literal radioactive weight behind it, but in Jade’s latest explosive outing (after Pale Horses, 2013), the threat of nuclear sabotage is very real. Mackenzie, always adept at mixing current South African social and political issues with her crime stories, plunks Jade in the middle of the country’s heated debate about the use of nuclear power when she’s hired by Inkomfe Nuclear Research Station security director Ryan Gillespie to track down an employee who’s gone rogue and may be tied with a recent break-in. Asked by the secretive Gillespie to find consultant Carlos Botha, Jade almost immediately locates her target in a seedy motel that’s also the scene of a grisly murder. She isn’t the only one with Botha in her sights, and the two decide that forming an uneasy alliance, but staying alive, is wiser than toughing it out alone when hit men descend on the motel. Soon they’re on the run, though Jade must juggle the fact that she's still feeding information about Botha to Gillespie while letting Botha believe they're in it together against the big boss. On the periphery is Police Superintendent David Patel, Jade’s former lover, who’s grudgingly back with his now-pregnant wife but who becomes entangled in the case when it’s discovered that one of the victims at the motel is Wouter Loodts, a former government minister whose corpse shows signs of torture.

Adrenaline-fueled action and enough twists and turns to keep even the most astute readers on their toes, this is a thriller with a heroine as forcefully engaging as the subject matter.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-61695-794-0
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Soho Crime
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2017


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