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Sacrifices [Kindle Edition]

Roger Smith
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $4.99
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  • Length: 290 pages (estimated)
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Constant Fear "firmly places [author] Palmer alongside the likes of Harlan Coben and Lisa Gardner." — The Providence Journal

Book Description

Just another murder in a country where killing is a national pastime . . .
Wealth insulates Michael Lane and his family from South Africa's violent crime epidemic until trouble comes from within the high walls of their Cape Town mansion one night when his teenage son commits an act of unspeakable savagery. Lane, joining his wife in a desperate lie to protect their boy (a lie involving the sacrifice of an innocent) encounters no opposition from cops and courts burdened by chaos and corruption, but he sets in motion a bloody train of revenge and retribution that threatens to destroy him and everything he loves.

Praise for Sacrifices

"Roger Smith is the crime genre's greatest tragedian and Sacrifices might just be his masterpiece. The downfall of these characters is especially Shakespearean."
Peter Dragovich - Spinetingler Magazine

"Perceptive, bloody and gut-wrenching. Another brilliantly crafted piece of noir from Roger Smith."

"Compulsive reading. Smith plots his tale with a master's hand, ensnaring the reader, drawing them in and enhancing his growing reputation as one of the best thriller writers around." Martin Stanley - The Gamblers Blog

"Through Smith's eyes, South Africa becomes a noir dystopia where life is cheap and tragedy spares no one. His bleakest, most twisted and very best novel yet." Benoit Lelievre - Dead End Follies

Praise for Roger Smith

"Smith writes with the brutal beauty of an Elmore Leonard in a very bad mood. " The Washington Post

"Smith has a unique ability to plunge readers into his nightmare visions." The Times

"If you are a fan of George Pelecanos or Dennis Lehane, give Roger Smith a close look." Bookpage

Roger Smith's thrillers Sacrifices, Capture, Dust Devils, Wake Up Dead, Mixed Blood & Ishmael Toffee are published in seven languages and two are in development as movies. He also writes horror under the pen name Max Wilde. Website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 634 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tin Town (July 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DZJV99O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #297,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Roger Smith's crime novels set in the environs of Cape Town paint a picture of dystopia and income inequality every bit as riveting as those in the science fiction works of William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, or the ever popular Hunger Games of Suzanne Collins.

Unfortunately, Smith's work is taken from present day reality, and in this world the light of a cell phone turned on in the Cape Flat slums works as a beacon to attract thieves. The gnawing disparity of living conditions corrodes the inner lives of nearly all the characters, slowly, like the steady drip of a leaking faucet.

Sacrifices examines the steady corruption of two sets of choices, choices of guilt and lifestyle preservation for the white characters, and choices of survival, despair, rage, and need for the black ones. These choices all stem from Lane and Beverly's choice to cover up a crime and blame their black housekeeper's son, and the consequences that the human psyche delivers (to different degrees) to those who do so. Unlike crime narratives where coincidence is a driving factor, nearly every outcome in Sacrifices feels driven and caused by earlier choices. Quite a few time while reading I found myself thinking, "Of course."

This book proceeds at a less frenetic pace than some of Smith's previous thrillers, but the pace is still beguiling. It thrums, slowly and steadily, spiralling towards its inevitable outcome. While prior Smith works reminded me of Ludlum, Stark, Thompson or Simenon, this one, by its end felt reminiscent of Hitchcock's Vertigo in its searing portrayal of psychological devastation and obsession.

And its ending is perfect. So buy it. Read it. Now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I literally could barely stop reading this book and devoured it in a little over a day, taking time out only for needed errands, phone calls, personal hygeine and VERY little sleep. I woke up reading the book; spent the day between the activities described above reading the book; went to bed reading the book and woke up in the middle of the night to add a couple hours more reading the book.

Why? The book, like so many others, but so much more adeptly, describes the perfect wealthy white South African family that starting on page one starts to unravel. The protagonist (sp?) is the husband, who is incredibly weak willed and enriched by an inheritance of land that his wife turns into an empire. He is guided like a pet by the wife then manipulated by a series of women throughout the book who also turn their deadly gaze on each other. As the bodies pile up, and his involvement in deceit and murder gets ever deeper, we discover that he is the perfect mirror of the English speaking South Africa whites who used to belong to the quasi-liberal Union Party during the apartheid era: against apartheid but not really ready to take much action to change it except for snide remarks at a cocktail party, and in the meantime being waited on hand and foot in their gorgeous homes and reveling in the luxury apartheid gave them.

Only now, while such a person is still dealing with racial apartheid, its based on the fact that the group of whites he belongs to have all the money, while the Cape Coloured housekeeper who waits on him, and whose family he nurtures, but only to a certain extent, battle a meth epidemic while utter and complete Third World poverty awaits them if they don't toe the line.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real-life Dystopian Novel August 17, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am not sure why I bought this book. I don't read much in the genre, and I am not too fond of third person simple singular present (it makes books read like stage directions in a script to me), but for whatever reason, I decided to give it a shot. That was a great decision on my part.

To put it bluntly, I loved the book. No, I am not suddenly a fan of the third person simple singular present form, but in this case, the story caught me and brought me beyond that. I was drawn into a dystopian world--not some scifi fantasy, but something that actually exists today. I was pulled into feeling of helplessness and injustice, a world that is foreign to me. I've never been to the RSA, but it wasn't the little differences in every day products and word usage that were foreign to me--it was rather the system that allows such inequality and violence. It may or may not be that prevalent in real life, but for the novel, it was pervasive in each sentence the author crafted.

Characterization was amazing. We were not told that so-and-so was this-or-that: we were shown it. I felt as if I knew the characters and that they were real people, complete with flaws. I didn't like any of the main characters. I sympathized with a few, but I can't say I liked any of them. But that didn't make them any less fascinating. We, as a culture, devour books written about pretty horrible people, and crime shows are a staple on television, so having a likable character is hardly a requirement for a good book. I disliked the characters, but I loved reading about them. Their inner turmoil, their conflicts within themselves, and their journey to how they react was like watching a car wreck. We feel we want to avert our eyes, but we still look.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Gritty Read from Roger Smith.
Another gritty Roger Smith story. Even the 'Good' characters have few redeeming qualities. Selfish, materialistic and even murderous. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Kotuku
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Not especially a great read. Sorry.
Published 2 months ago by F. Tom Dory
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Roger Smith criminal masterpiece
I am a huge fan of Roger Smith. I will read everything of his that I can get my hands on and this book does not disappoint.
Published 4 months ago by GregsWords
5.0 out of 5 stars A damn good read (again)
Fast moving, typical of the author. Enjoyable if you like his style.
Published 5 months ago by Dommo
4.0 out of 5 stars If you want to know what it feels like when an author doesn't pull...
If you want to know what it feels like when an author doesn't pull their punches, look no further than Roger Smith.
Published 5 months ago by conspirewriter
5.0 out of 5 stars And I can't recall a book that had a final paragraph that amazed me...
Wow...what a book!......It's been awhile since a book has kept me up late at night reading it and using the time while the coffee is brewing in the morning to get one more chapter... Read more
Published 6 months ago by David Minnick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ruthless and suspensive
Published 6 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars Brutal, raw......
this story takes you right into the darkness of Cape Town and its slums. Your captivated and kept holding your breath wondering what's next. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Crissyj
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!
Second book I have read by him, and love the descriptions of Cape Town and the social disparity in South Africa. I did not see the end coming!! Awesome book!!
Published 9 months ago by A. Barkley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! One of the very best!
I won't repeat what others have said regarding the synopsis of the book, but I was enthralled by the entire book and its wonderful prose. Read more
Published 9 months ago by muffiemae
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More About the Author

"Roger Smith writes with the brutal beauty of an Elmore Leonard in a very bad mood." THE WASHINGTON POST

Roger Smith's thrillers MAN DOWN, SACRIFICES, CAPTURE, DUST DEVILS, WAKE UP DEAD, MIXED BLOOD & ISHMAEL TOFFEE are published in eight languages and two are in development as movies in the U.S.

His books have won the GERMAN CRIME FICTION AWARD and been nominated for SPINETINGLER MAGAZINE BEST NOVEL awards. He also writes horror under the pen name Max Wilde.


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