Salamander Cotton

Richard Kunzmann

10 December 2010
448 pages


A wealthy ex-farmer has been found beaten and burned to death at his home in suburban Johannesburg. Why does his estranged wife not seem particularly surprised by this cold-blooded murder, and insist that the killer will be found in the Northern Cape? That is where the victim’s plantations were located – a desolate landscape of extreme poverty, and with a very dark mining past. Police-officer Jacob Tshabalala persuades his former colleague Harry Mason to accompany the woman there as a private investigator, and the moment they arrive in the near-abandoned mining town of Leopold’s, Harry senses that dangerous secrets are resurfacing.

To add to this dark menace is the supposed existence of a local demon, and when Harry’s little daughter is viciously attacked, he realises here is a mystery that he must resolutely unravel.