DIVIDE THE NIGHT by Wessel Ebersohn
Kirkus Star


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Another compelling mix of crime and South Africa's sociopolitical scenery--from the banned-at-home author of both mysteries and Store Up the Anger (a fictionalized treatment of the Biko ease). Again Ebersohn's reluctant hero is psychiatrist Yudel Gordon, working with his clear-eyed policeman friend Freek Jordaan. And the criminal here, who comes to Yudel for treatment by court order, is elderly Johann Weizmann--who has just killed his eighth black victim, this time a starving child who came looking for food in Weizmann's storeroom (the door to which is often left temptingly open). To his family and the Special Police, Weizmann is a hero. But Yudel knows he is a demented man driven to kill--so the doctor is soon looking for evidence to get his patient put away: he searches for an eyewitness to the latest killing, a witness who happens to be a black activist hunted by the Special Police for the murder of two policemen. And though there's an implausibility here--Yudel's uncharacteristically self-deluding hope that the activist's evidence will help convict Weizmann--everything else measures up to the power of Yudel's debut in A Lonely Place to Die: insistent pace, sharply intriguing characters (covering the whole political/racial spectrum), and the very convincing menace of the shadowing, torturing Special Police.

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1981
Publisher: Pantheon