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10 thoughts on “Let The Dead Lie

  1. says:

    I enjoyed this second in Malla Nunn s Emmanuel Cooper series Not only has Emmanuel had to give up his job as a police detective and moved to Durban but he has been reclassified from white to mixed race He has had to take a lowly paid job on the Durban docks but is putting in some overtime doing contract surveillance work for his old boss Major van Niekerk When he comes across a murdered boy down at the docks he is given 48h to find his murderer or be arrested and charged with the crime himsel I enjoyed this second in Malla Nunn s Emmanuel Cooper series Not only has Emmanuel had to give up his job as a police detective and moved to Durban but he has been reclassified from white to mixed race He has had to take a lowly paid job on the Durban docks but is putting in some overtime doing contract surveillance work for his old boss Major van Niekerk When he comes across a murdered boy down at the docks he is given 48h to find his murderer or be arrested and charged with the crime himself.This novel takes us to the gritty, seamier side of South Africa during the time of segregation as well showing the moral and political corruption that was rampant in South Africa during the 1950s Emmanuel stays true to himself, seeking out the truth and refusing to be compromised


  2. says:

    Hidden between two boxcars in the freight yards of Durban Harbour, Emmanuel Cooper could see the lights of a docked cruise ship across the water The fact that he was doing night surveillance work for his old boss, Major van Niekerk after having to resign his Detective Sergeant position when his previous case went horribly wrong, made him realize how low his life had tumbled But even though the words of his boss do not intervene do not show yourself rang in his head, when he heard sounds o Hidden between two boxcars in the freight yards of Durban Harbour, Emmanuel Cooper could see the lights of a docked cruise ship across the water The fact that he was doing night surveillance work for his old boss, Major van Niekerk after having to resign his Detective Sergeant position when his previous case went horribly wrong, made him realize how low his life had tumbled But even though the words of his boss do not intervene do not show yourself rang in his head, when he heard sounds of distress, he found himself moving toward that sound And what he found caused his life to spiral out of control the danger to his very existence was immediate Suddenly Cooper was caught up in not one but three murders and the evidence all pointed to him being the killer Trapped in the cells with the hangman s noose beckoning, his thoughts were grim But then, for a reason Cooper couldn t fathom, he was released into Major van Niekerk s custody the police were furious, but there was nothing they could do not for 48 hours anyway Then all bets were off The race was on for Cooper to find the real killer and save his own life With no one to help him most certainly not the police he found himself deep in the underworld of Durban drugs, prostitution and violence it was all there But when he met the preacher woman, then the delectable Lana Rose who was cunning and knew the streets inside and out, a strange alliance was formed Would Cooper be able to find the real killer before the 48 hours was up Or would he end up languishing in prison, awaiting the noose Not if he could help it he wouldn t This is the second in the Detective Sergeant Emmanuel Cooper series by Aussie author Malla Nunn and I loved it just as much as the first An extremely fast paced novel, with twists and turns throughout, the tension and suspense were gripping As with the first novel, Emmanuel is a great character, and I enjoyed Lana s character as well Hopefully we might seeof Lana in the next book which I will get to soon I have no hesitation in recommending Let the Dead Lie highly


  3. says:

    Let the Dead Lie, by Malla Nunn, is set in 1953 in Durban, South Africa, with World War 2 as a bleak backdrop I ve always had a fascination with Africa as a whole and have devoured stories by Wilbur Smith, Beverly Harper, Tony Parks, Katherine Scholes and a recent find, Margie Orford so I was predisposed to like it.From the back cover In Let the Dead Lie, Cooper is a changed man Forced to resign from his position of Detective Sergeant and re classified as mixed race, he winds up powerless a Let the Dead Lie, by Malla Nunn, is set in 1953 in Durban, South Africa, with World War 2 as a bleak backdrop I ve always had a fascination with Africa as a whole and have devoured stories by Wilbur Smith, Beverly Harper, Tony Parks, Katherine Scholes and a recent find, Margie Orford so I was predisposed to like it.From the back cover In Let the Dead Lie, Cooper is a changed man Forced to resign from his position of Detective Sergeant and re classified as mixed race, he winds up powerless and alone in the tough coastal city of Durban, mixing labouring with a bit of surveillance work for his old boss, Major van Niekerk.Patrolling the freight yards one night, Cooper stumbles upon the body of a young white boy and, the detective in him can not, or will not, walk away When twobodies this time black women are discovered at his boarding house, he unwittingly becomes the prime suspect in a triple murder case.At van Niekerk s behest, Cooper s given 48 hours to clear his name and unofficially solve the three murders And so, temporarily back to being a European Detective Sergeant, he launches headlong into Durban s seedy underworld, a viper s nest of prostitution, drug running and violence run by a colourful cast of characters including wannabe Indian gangsters a mysterious figure who drives a white De Soto convertible a Zion Gospel preacher, and the exquisite yet streetwise Lana, who also happens to be van Niekerk s mistress I wish I d read A Beautiful Place to Die first simply because I prefer to read series in order, but I didn t feel that I lost anything for reading Let the Dead Lie as a stand alone.From the opening scene, Ms Nunn took me to a seedy, segregated world where white was right and anyone else was fair game Ex detective Cooper is the sort of hero I love a man broken because he has integrity and now on the wrong side of the law, but still incapable of total moral decay.The book is peopled with characters Ms Nunn finely crafts with the deftest of touches A flash of hot pink sari crossed Emmanuel s eye line and a dozen glass bracelets chimed An India woman in her fifties with sinewy greyhound limbs grabbed Parthiv s ear and twisted until his knees buckled That image of the Indian matriarch stayed with me for the story.The plot is convoluted, turning back on itself in dead ends and empty promises, but time ticks on relentlessly leaving Emmanuel Cooper with a diminishing number of options Lana is not a traditional heroine and I was left feeling as though her story is yet to come She is street wise and cunning, but courageous with skills beyond her years Her vulnerability shows through just enough to make me cheer for her and wish for an impossible happy ending Durban was a character all of its own with the setting beingthan just another waterfront town with a transient population The palpable fear, but edgy defiance from so many characters, and even the buildings, added to the desperation in a town where no one was what they first appeared to be.Let the Dead Lie is good, gritty crime fiction with compelling characters and a fascinating setting.My rating 4.5 Stars


  4. says:

    Malla Nunn has created a fast past exciting crime story set in Durban, South Africa This is the 2nd in a series there are now 4 featuring Inspector Emmanuel Cooper struggling in the early stages of an emerging apartheid world Nunn handles a multiplicity of characters deftly, without confusing the reader, and her ability to sustain an action sequence is impressive Many of the characters could be and probably are continued in subsequent novels Nunn s questions for discussion and her own in Malla Nunn has created a fast past exciting crime story set in Durban, South Africa This is the 2nd in a series there are now 4 featuring Inspector Emmanuel Cooper struggling in the early stages of an emerging apartheid world Nunn handles a multiplicity of characters deftly, without confusing the reader, and her ability to sustain an action sequence is impressive Many of the characters could be and probably are continued in subsequent novels Nunn s questions for discussion and her own interview at the back of the book reflect her seriousness about South African issues which she seamlessly integrates into her novel without a smidgeon of preachiness.My wife and I met Malla last week at the Key West Literary Seminar and she is personally outgoing and charming She is a bright new light in the genre of historical crime fiction.See


  5. says:

    I got a bit tired of the constant reminder that Cooper had been in WWII, that he kept bumping into the right wrong people at the right wrong times and that a happy ending was inevitable.I did enjoy the insight into life in Durban at the start of the apartheid era and how people seem to work around the artificial barriers being implemented by the Government.


  6. says:

    Let the Dead Lie is the exciting second novel from Malla Nunn featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, following on from A Beautiful Place To Die This crime series, set in Southern Africa in the 1950 s, has a gritty, dark realism that explores the political and social system of the period Detective Emmanuel Cooper is working on the docks in the port city of Durban having been forced to resign his position and accept a reclassification as mixed race after the events in Jacob s Rest Despit Let the Dead Lie is the exciting second novel from Malla Nunn featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper series, following on from A Beautiful Place To Die This crime series, set in Southern Africa in the 1950 s, has a gritty, dark realism that explores the political and social system of the period Detective Emmanuel Cooper is working on the docks in the port city of Durban having been forced to resign his position and accept a reclassification as mixed race after the events in Jacob s Rest Despite his status, he has been recruited by Major van Niekerk to surveil criminal activity at the dock, which leads him to discover the body of a young boy with his throat slit Emmanuel doesn t have any faith that the police will solve the murder and begins his own unsanctioned investigation but his curiosity turns him into a prime suspect after his landlady and his maid are murdered Emmanuel has just 48 hours to solve the crimes or be arrested and charged with the triple homicide Unraveling the mystery sees Emmanuel face international intrigue, police corruption, turf wars, smugglers, and his own ghosts.In Let The Dead Lie, Emmanuel struggles against himself as much as he does the corruption and crime of Southern Africa The body of the dead boy affects him so strongly partly because Emmanuel was once a child of the slums, struggling to survive poverty and violence Emmanuel is not the type of man to ignore a brutal murder, even when it is in his best interests Led by his conscience, with a moral compass that chafes against the restrictions of 1950 s South African society, Emmanuel is determined to find justice for the murdered boy, no matter the personal cost Even with just 48 hours to exonerate himself his focus remains on finding the murderer responsible for the child s death, rather than the man who could set him free It s a subtle distinction but an important one because of what it tells you about Emmanuel s character Emmanuel would likely do as he pleased and damn the consequences if it wasn t for the fact that others would be the ones to pay the price for his behaviour Emmanuel believes himself to be irredeemably flawed and seems to court punishment, which he feels he deserves because of his failure to save his mother and his experiences during the war He is constantly surprised by the loyalty of Constable Shabalala and Doctor Zwiegman He doesn t recognise the positive traits within himself that the men respond to with respect The action in Let The Dead Lie is fast paced with the bulk of the action taking place within the 48 hour window Emmanuel has to solve the crimes Suspects are considered, some dismissed quickly, others studied for longer, but as the case growscomplicated the tension mounts Investigating the boy s murder leads Emmanuel into the middle of a turf war between Indian drug smugglers and an Underworld boss, and a Secret Police search for Russian traitors while staying ahead of the police who want their pound of flesh Emmanuel is convinced the connections are there but can t figure out how everything fits together The plot is multilayered and complex but the links resolve into a satisfying conclusion.The urban setting for Let The Dead Lie is as vivid as the stark country side of Jacob s Rest, from the bustling, seedy port, to the Durban slums to the gated houses of the white aristocracy The cultural framework of the novel though is what really sets this series apart from other crime novels The tenants of apartheid makes my skin crawl and Nunn accurately and honestly portrays the disturbing racism and inequality of Southern Africa at the time The characters that populate her novels are very much the products of such a twisted regime Having experienced life with status and without, Emmanuel issensitive than most to the unfairness of the social system that determines every aspect of life by the colour of a person s skin.Once I had started Let The Dead Lie I found it difficult to put it down, engrossed in the thrilling action, strong characters and fascinating setting This is a terrific, fast paced read that I highly recommend for readers of crime fiction Personally I was so eager to prolong the experience I dived straight into the third installment, Silent Valley and wasn t disappointed


  7. says:

    Malla Nunn is my new literary crush While not perfect, this second Emmanuel Cooper novel delivers Nunn is great on place now I have to go to Durban And she so well describes the darkness and chaos that must be part of any city s underground, and Cooper is the perfect noir hero Nunn is the scribe of sadness and loss In this venture Cooper has lost his detective card and is working under cover in Durban, South Africa investigating police officers for the morally ambiguous Major van Neikerk Malla Nunn is my new literary crush While not perfect, this second Emmanuel Cooper novel delivers Nunn is great on place now I have to go to Durban And she so well describes the darkness and chaos that must be part of any city s underground, and Cooper is the perfect noir hero Nunn is the scribe of sadness and loss In this venture Cooper has lost his detective card and is working under cover in Durban, South Africa investigating police officers for the morally ambiguous Major van Neikerk The murder of a street child sets off Cooper s moral compass, and the investigation leads tomurders andcolorful characters including an amazing femme fatale


  8. says:

    Detective Emmanuel Cooper has lost his job, but not his passion Working ostesibly as a nightwatchman at the Durban docks in South Africa, he is moonlighting for his former boss, Major von Niekirk when a young slumdweller gofer dies from a slashed throat Befriending a working girl, with a myriad of underworld contacts, Cooper is arrested for the murder and then released for 48 hours to solve the crime and bring those responsible to justice.


  9. says:

    I quite enjoyed this one


  10. says:

    Det Emmanual Cooper has been bounced out of the police force, his life turned upside down and even who he is has been changed from white to mixed race in the official records of 1950s South Africa where apartheid is very much alive.He is now working undercover on the docks of Durban Harbor, supposedly documenting police corruption for Maj van Niekerk But everything changes when he comes across the body of a white slum child who ran errands and picked up things for others The boy s notebook i Det Emmanual Cooper has been bounced out of the police force, his life turned upside down and even who he is has been changed from white to mixed race in the official records of 1950s South Africa where apartheid is very much alive.He is now working undercover on the docks of Durban Harbor, supposedly documenting police corruption for Maj van Niekerk But everything changes when he comes across the body of a white slum child who ran errands and picked up things for others The boy s notebook is missing.Suspicion runs high with just that murder but later, Cooper returns to his apartment to find his landlady and her maid murdered as well and he becomes the prime suspect in all three cases And now he is in a race against time and the whims of the police force as well as the city s criminals, trying to track down the real murderer and the reasons why.A very interesting read and a window into a world few of us who have never stepped into South Africa have experienced I enjoy Nunn s writing a lot


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Let The Dead Lie DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, Forced To Resign From His Position Of Detective Sergeant And Re Classified As Mixed Race After An Incident Involving A Young Black Woman, Emmanuel Cooper Winds Up Powerless And Alone In The Tough Coastal City Of Durban, Mixing Labouring With Surveillance Work For His Old Boss, Major Van Niekerk Patrolling The Freight Yards One Night, He Stumbles Upon The Body Of A Young White Boy And The Detective In Him Cannot, Or Will Not, Walk Away When Two Bodies This Time An Older English Woman And Her Maid Are Discovered At His Boarding House, He Unwittingly Becomes The Prime Suspect In A Triple Murder CaseAt Major Van Niekerk S Behest, Cooper Is Given Hours To Clear His Name And Unofficially Solve The Three Murders And So, Temporarily Back To Being A European Detective Sergeant, He Descends Into Durban S Seedy Underworld, A Viper S Nest Of Prostitution, Drugs And Violence Run By Indian Gangsters To Solve The Crimes And Save His Own Skin, He Must Place His Trust In A Mysterious Figure Who Drives A White DeSoto Convertible, A Zion Gospel Preacher, And The Exquisite Yet Streetwise Lana, Who Also Happens To Be Major Van Niekerk S Mistress