Sunday, 6 November 2016

Night by Casey Christie - Review


A trio of incorruptible cops--A veteran Sergeant, a former army commando, and his two cohorts, a Zulu giant and an expat Russian Spetsnaz operator--wage a ruthless war against the modern criminal gangs who ravage the city of Johannesburg with bank robberies, ritual murders, rape, torture and cash in transit hijackings. Reader discretion is advised.

This tough police action thriller lifts the lid on South African life as three hard cops launch flat-out war against a Satanic crime-czar. 

Night of the Black Bastards is a vivid crime thriller set in the dangerous streets of Johannesburg and the vastness of the Karoo Desert. This novel is based upon real-life events..

The book provides unique insights into police procedure and the savage reality of the high energy lifestyle of the grindingly poor and the obscenely wealthy inhabitants of the multiracial metropolis of Johannesburg.

The trio's principal adversary is a Zimbabwean colonel who has established a criminal empire based in the black township of Alexandra, where he is fearfully known as uSathane--the Zulu expression for The Devil. uSathane uses black magic and cannibalism--he drinks the blood of raped women--to keep him alive although he is riddled with Aids.


Well I'll start by saying the books I normally read are definitely not as brutal as this book, but it is nice to have a change every now and again. The synopsis really intrigued me and I have read a few books set in South Africa recently so this was another one to add to my list. 

The characters are all extremely well written, in particular Sergeant Michael Night. He's incredibly complex as on the one hand, he is cold and can shut off his feelings to even the death of people close to him, but on the other hand he rescues dogs when he can an he loves his girlfriend Lisa and his two fellow "Black Bastards" a Zulu and a Russian. (The full title of the book did throw me a little, but it is explained that the reason the three men are called "Black Bastards" is due to the combat gear that they wear). He is a really great character and was easy to get behind and route for in the story. I also adore Wamba his pet rescued mountain of a dog, he's written so well that you can actually picture his face and his abounding energy. 

The story itself is fast paced and well written, my only slight comment would be that there were moments that felt very much like information dumps, particularly at the beginning of the book, but this is a personal thing and it may not seem that way to everyone. 

The world building is quite intense and sets an extremely vivid picture of the streets in South Africa and what the police in this book at least have to face, I could quite easily envisage the gated communities and the people just trying to get on with their own life with as little disruption as possible from the warring factions. 

uSathane is extremely terrifying as the "big bad" as since starting reading books based in South Africa I have learnt a lot more about witch doctors (he isn't one but he uses one) and their practices and the fact that they are still being used today. The power that they can hold over people is just terrible, uSathane uses a witch doctor and their remedies in a belief that he will be kept alive even though he is basically dying. Someone who believes that they are practically immortal and have the respect or fear of a following of people is incredibly hard to defeat as they think they have nothing to lose whereas you do. 

Overall a thoroughly good book and I will hopefully be reading more by Casey Christie in the future. 

I gave this book 4 stars

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