Monday, May 24, 2010

Read A Few Days Ago: "Mixed Blood" by Roger Smith

Read A Few Days Ago: Mixed Blood by Roger Smith, 2009, 9780805088755.

Another good one but difficult to finish. The vicious and heartless kidnapping of a four year boy was difficult for me to read.

Jack Burn and his family land in Cape Town after escaping the U.S. where he is wanted for murder after a robbery that left several crooks and a policeman dead. A couple Americans gang members from the Flats scale the balcony at the Burns' rental home. Jack kills both men but cannot risk his true identity being revealed. He wraps the bodies in plastic, sticks'em in the car, dumps them back at the Flats.

Things happen. Vicious, amoral, ruthless, heartless, obese, smelly, tactless, Boer cop (Rudi) gets on Jack's case and kidnaps his son. Former prison gang-leader guarding construction site next to Burns' house gets involved. Meth junkie in Flats loses her meal ticket - her severely disabled child - and is told to care for kidnapped boy. Burns's pregnant wife now despises Jack and wants to return to the U.S. and turn herself in. People are killed. Crooks are scary. Kidnappers indifferent treatment of boy is harrowing to read. Boy escapes alive but must have bad psychological after effects. Burns' wife turns them in. Burns flees north. Fat bastard dies a fitting death.

Comments and observations:
1. Rudi could have been the evil dude in a horror novel. A really well-done bad guy with multiple murders to his credit whose hatred of everyone and religious fervor drives him on.
2. Burns is sort of a split character. On one hand he is extremely concerned for his son but refuses to risk his own safety of avoiding extradition.
3. The neighboring security guard, Benny, is a twin to the prison bad guy in Wake Up Dead. The guy in Wake Up can be seen as an advanced version of Benny: crime lord in prison, multiple murders under his belt, love of using a knife to kill, a crook and killer since a very young age. But, Benny is working to improve himself and keep out of prison.
4. Another look at the brutal Flats and the people who live there.
5. I found this in my library. Another book I bought and have no recall of ordering it.

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