A particularly strong novel is A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn (Pan Macmillan Australia), a murder mystery set in South Africa in the 1950s. The time and setting are significant because of the Racial Segregation laws that were in place at the time. The story explores these laws throughout the book and the attitudes of characters play a major role in the tone of the book and in the story’s outcome.
Moving in to take over are the police Security Branch, the feared enforcers of the racial laws that rule the land. Their intention is to find the kind of suspect that suits their needs, which leaves it up to Cooper to work surreptitiously to find the true murderer, regardless of the colour of his skin.
The story builds quickly in intensity as pressure is placed on Emmanuel - and not from the direction you would expect it to come. This is obviously a heartfelt subject for the author and it is told with great style.