A Beautiful Place to Die: A Novel (Detective Emmanuel Cooper)

A Beautiful Place To Die - Malla Nunn Malla Nunn's South African police novel, brilliantly -- if eerily -- set during the dominance of the National Party's Apartheid government, starts slowly, but builds to create a wholly enjoyable mystery, centered around the inexplicable but no-less real effort of the country's white-controlled establishment to segregate 38 million blacks from cultural and political legitimacy. As white detective Emmanuel Cooper investigates the murder of a small town's beloved Afrikaner police captain, he ultimately finds his lot to be inseparable from that of the citizens of Jacob's Rest.The build-up to the novel's end feels too conveniently cinematic, but recovers in time for several last minute revelations that set the tone for similar novels to come. And while the institutionalization of South Africa's racial prejudice may seem like history, American readers will have no difficulty recasting their nation's pallor toward this new, and intriguing, canvas. A very enjoyable mystery.