Margaret von Klemperer

Jacana, R156.50

Set in the KZN Midlands, Just a Dead Man tells the story of a murder, wrongful arrest, xenophobia and corrupt government officials.

Through the story line, the author introduces what South Africans live with every day. A white, divorced mother of two, and also an artist, Laura and Zimbabwean friend Daniel Moyo find a dead body in the plantations close to her home. The dead man and Daniel had connections and through these, the local police arrest him for the murder. The police don’t hide their xenophobia when arresting a man who turns out to be the wrong suspect.

Laura, in an attempt to find the real culprit, uncovers kick-backs and consortiums of shadowy, corrupt and politically well-connected figures involved in possible titanium mining in Pondoland. In doing so, she puts herself and family and friends in great danger as others getting too close die. – Elaine Ash