Author and former police officer Mark Minnie. Picture: Supplied

Johannesburg - Questions continue to linger over co-author of The Lost Boys of Bird Island Mark Minnie's apparent suicide. 

This was after Minnie was found dead at a friend’s smallholding at Theescombe on Monday night. 

Reacting to the news of his death was Tafelberg Publishers, who said they were shocked to hear of Minnie's sudden death, especially because he had indicated that the book was "only the beginning" of the search of justice. 

"Tafelberg’s last contact with Minnie was on Sunday night, but he had been out of reach since Monday morning. His cellphone had been switched off and he hadn’t responded to emails.  

"In the week preceding his death, Minnie had said nothing to Tafelberg to indicate that he might harm himself. He was excited about the publication of the book and the disclosure of allegations which, according to him, had been covered up for thirty years. He said that the book was 'only the beginning' of the process to have justice prevail for the victims whose stories are told in the book."

Minnie, a former police officer, had also told Tafelberg that he had successfully followed up several leads in PE during the past week and was determined to reveal further evidence. 

He was also looking forward to Cape Town’s Open Book Festival where he, together with his co-author Chris Steyn and journalist Marianne Thamm, was going to discuss the book, Tafelberg revealed. 

Adding to this was the author of The President's Keeper: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison, Jacques Pauw, who raised questions around Minnie's apparent suicide. 

"The fact that the suicide note was found doesn't necessarily mean he wrote it willingly. I mean he could've written it under duress. The fact that he shot himself with someone else's pistol already raises questions," Pauw said during a 702 interview. 

Eastern Cape police revealed that a suicide note had been found but would not divulge its contents or the location of where it was discovered. 

It was also revealed that the firearm found did not belong to Minnie.

Co-author of the book Chris Steyn meanwhile said she was shattered by Minnie’s unexpected death and stood by every word in the book. 

“Mark said it was our task to have justice prevail for the victims. He would have wanted me to continue and that is exactly what I’ll be doing.”

The Lost Boys of Bird Island is about high-ranking former National Party government ministers allegedly being part of a paedophile ring in the late 1980s.

The book tells the story of “fishing excursions” organised by former defence minister Magnus Malan, wealthy businessman Dave Allen – who died by suicide at the age of 37 – and National Party environmental affairs minister John Wiley – who also committed suicide at age 80, just weeks after Allen was found dead with a similar gunshot wound to the head.