Random Violence

Random Violence

3.52 (638 ratings by Goodreads)
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In Johannesburg prosperous whites live in gated communities; when they exit their cars to open the gates, car-jackings are common. But seldom is the victim killed, much less shot twice, like Annette Botha. Piet Botha, the husband of the wealthy woman, is the primary suspect in his wife's murder.
P.I. Jade de Jong fled South Africa ten years ago after her father was killed. Now back in town, she offers to help her father's former assistant, Superintendent David Patel, with his investigation of this case. Under apartheid, Patel, of Indian descent, couldnever have attained his present position. But he is feeling pressure from his "old line" boss with respect to this investigation and fears lingering prejudice is at work.
As Jade probes into this and other recent car-jacking cases, a pattern begins to emerge, a pattern that goes back to her father's murder and that involves a vast and intricate series of crimes for profit."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 126 x 190 x 24.13mm | 272g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1569479119
  • 9781569479117
  • 1,666,903

Review quote

"Complicated and tough and real."
--Boston Bibliophile
"A new generation of crime writers is trying to put apartheid and modern South Africa in focus ... ["Random Violence "is] a thought-provoking book."
--"Portland Oregonian"
"Mackenzie, who has lived in South Africa from an early age, plays her hand deftly, with a page turner of a story, intriguing characters--Jade is particularly memorable--and a wealth of South African color, including its appalling racial history. At once brutal and beautiful, Random Violence leaves nothing to chance in hooking the reader."
--"Richmond Times Dispatch"
"With surprising characters and an intriguing plot, you'll be guessing right up until the very end."
--"Tulsa Examiner"
Starred Review: "South African writer Mackenzie has created a strong female character with amazing resilience, unusual friends, and incredible luck.... Gripping."
--"Library Journal"
"Beautiful and haunting... Each chapter is filled with wonders and horrors masterfully told in darkly poetic prose, with absolutely no wastage of space permitted. She has created a terrific and believable P.I. in the headstrong and somewhat intimidating Jade de Jong; a P.I. we will no doubt be seeing plenty of in the future. A host of colorful and memorable characters fill the pages, alongside Jade, making this a gripping and page-turning read, despite the bleakness of place and events via post-apartheid South Africa."
--"New York Journal of Books"
Starred Review: "Set in contemporary South Africa, Mackenzie's triumphant debut
introduces PI Jade de Jong.... The plot has more than its fair share of nice twists, and Mackenzie does a superb job of making the reader care for her gutsy lead while offering a glimpse at life in South Africa after apartheid. Readers will wish Jade a long fictional career."
--"Publishers Weekly"
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About Jassy Mackenzie

Jassy Mackenzie was born in Rhodesia and moved to South Africa when she was eight years old. She lives in Kyalami near Johannesburg and edits and writes for the annual publication "Best of South Africa."
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Rating details

638 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 14% (88)
4 39% (251)
3 36% (230)
2 7% (45)
1 4% (24)

Our customer reviews

About a year ago I stumbled across the Jade de Jong series but it took me until a couple weeks ago to finally get around to reading the first novel in the series a try. I'm always on the look out for great South African authors and I have to say Jassy Mackenzie is a new favourite of mine. Random Violence was a fast past intricate novel with a wonderful female sleuth as the lead character. Jade de Jong returns to her homeland of South Africa after 10 years away working all over the globe. Upon her return she's met with all the changes that have happened in her country including in the lives of the one person she cares about the most. I loved the mystery behind the slue of murders that seem to be occurring as well as the relationship between Jade and David who was once her father's right hand man and her best friend. I really enjoyed seeing the ups and downs as they got used to be around one another again after such a long time apart as well as seeing how much respect they had for one another. I have to say that Jade and David are probably two of my favourite crime solving partners after reading Random Violence. Both are intelligent, witty and savvy and they both have different skills plus the chemistry between them is great. I thought that the fact that the author also took the time to touch briefly on the political background of the country post-apartheid with the referral of David's "old line" boss. I think that it was an important touch especially for the readers who aren't really versed in the history of the country and it plays a rather large part in the novel because of the actions and histories of individual characters mostly those of the bad guys. I was very surprised at how enjoyable Random Violence was as strange as it might sound it was a fun read because Jassy Mackenzie kept me on my toes. There were far more plot twists that I had expected and many of them didn't even become obvious until the the end when everything came together and I was left with my jaw on the floor in shock. Overall, I thought the writing was fantastic. The author used a perfect balance of drama, action, intrigue, deception and plot twists to create a wonderfully well written who dun it novel. In a genre that is still very much male dominated Jassy Mackenzie makes sure that her unique voice is heard and for me her gift in the genre was very well received by me. Everything fit together so well and the way she wove the story in such subtle ways sometimes was amazing and I can't wait to read the second book in the series. As first novels go Jassy Mackenzie's Random Violence is a hit and has earned a place on my favourite's shelf. I would highly recommend Random Violence to everyone who enjoys a mystery set in a foreign country. I think the fact that it is written by a South African writer and takes place in South Africa is a unique offering in the mystery genre and the story is one that you can get wrapped up in and is a great way to expose yourself to a new writer and a new series in a place you may never have had a book take place in before.show more
by Kimberly Roy
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