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Zulu Paperback – April 27, 2010

17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Readers should be prepared for graphic scenes of shocking violence in Férey's hard-hitting procedural, which won France's Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel. Ali Neuman, the chief of the Cape Town police crime unit, investigates the murder of 18-year-old Nicole Wiese, found one morning in the South African city's botanical gardens with her skull crushed in. Since the victim's father was a member of the Springboks rugby team that won the world championship in 1995, the case attracts heavy press coverage. The trail leads Neuman to an extraordinarily brutal narcotics gang with links to a former apartheid official. The good guys don't walk away from their encounters with the bad guys unscathed. This is a welcome addition to the growing ranks of crime books set in South Africa—powerful and unflinching in its portrayal of evil both mindless and calculating. (May)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933372885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372884
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Garry A. Nelson on January 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read plenty of dark and dangerous mysteries in various locales. The bottom line - if you like yours really dark, scary, violent, colorful, and yes, sad, this is a must. If you like the cynicism and despair of Deadwood let's say, you'll love this. Plus you get Capetown for a backdrop. I started while in Capetown but finished back home - I'm glad I did or I wouldn't have gone out on the streets so easily.
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Format: Paperback
(4.5 stars) Winner of the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in France as Best Crime novel of the year, and four other "best" prizes, Zulu is a powerful, multilayered novel set in South Africa during its transition between the old rule of apartheid and the new rule by black Africans. The African National Congress, under Mandela, needs the former white rulers to maintain control in many areas--and these whites quickly establish their own militias to protect themselves and to act on "infractions" or threats to the "peace" as they see it. Other African movements, like Inkatha, also challenge the ANC, leading to conflict for power within the black movements.

The novel focuses on three Cape Town police officers--Ali Neuman, a black officer who has survived an inhuman massacre which killed his parents and his fifteen-year-old brother; Brian Epkeen, a free-wheeling white officer whose family was originally involved in the establishment of apartheid but who works well with Neuman; and Dan Fletcher, their white protégé, whose wife has just undergone chemo for cancer. The story unwinds with the tension one would expect of a novel which has won as many prizes as this one has, and the glimpses of South African life keep the reader intrigued as the investigation of the death of a young woman, found mutilated in the Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch unfolds.

Soon the team is investigating yet another, similar death. Life is so uncertain in Cape Town, at this point, that many wonder, "How could the leading democracy in Africa be the most dangerous country in the world?" With 18,000 murders a year, 26,000 serious assaults, and 60,000 (reported) rapes, it is no wonder that there are over five million guns are in the hands of just forty-five million citizens.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Combining the dark visceral look at south Africa's criminal underbelly akin to Roger Smith novels with a John Lecarre like focus on the corporate and governmental forces that abet street level crime, this book is a timely sobering and terribly exciting portrayal of the real people representing and victimized by these modern urban forces.
Although it's a translated book, one is with very rare exceptions unaware of it. Among the best of its kind.
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Format: Paperback
"Zulu" is a compellingly, dark thriller that begins with the gruesome death of a KwaZulu father and son by Inkatha, a militant political faction at war with Nelson Mandela's African National Congress. In the aftermath of South Africa's apartheid , the youngest son, scarred by the brutality of heartless killers studies to be a lawyer and becomes the well-respected chief of the homicide branch of the Cape Town police. A man dedicated to upholding justice in a corrupt society where drugs and violence strike down the weak and helpless, especially those in the Black community, Ali Neuman suddenly finds himself trying to solve the murder of Nicole Weise, a young white woman, daughter of a renowned athlete and ambassador of the new South Africa, Stewart Weise. As the pressure mounts to uncover the reason behind Nicole's death, and her killer's identity, the death toll climbs and the mutilated body of a second victim, Kate Montgomery is found, a Zulu ritual mark carved into her flesh. What Ali and his two officers, Brian Epkeen and Dan Fetcher will discover is a link between the mafia gangs selling drugs, prostitution and gambling from their shabeens -low class bars- and a devious plot by a covert white supremacy organization to infect young blacks, especially runaways with an AIDS molecule hidden within a new drug called Tik. But, because of unseen circumstances due to the superstition of a rogue drug dealer, Tik is being consumed by white youths who hang out on Manizenberg Beach.

In this novel, the characters have multi-faceted personalities. All seem to suffer from a flaw from the past or a recurring weakness, like Ali Neuman, the descendant of a Zulu chief who's tough, stubborn and courageous under fire, but damaged by the brutality he suffered as a youth.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda R. Harrington on April 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Zulu - everything you can ask for in a great read - background, character, flavor, locale, drama. Wish I knew French better so I could order his other books. Highly recommend this amazing book.
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By M. Bernstein on November 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've watched French crime movies for years. There is nothing like a French crime movie done in the States.
I'll say the same for their crime literature. Nothing like it here or even in England. Ferey seems to go deeper and darker.
That's ZULU. Deeper and darker.

Notice there is no second book about Ali Neuman. There's a reason, which I wont divulge. But for Caryl Ferey, ZULU is the only Ali Neuman detective procedural.

He (Ferey) goes deep into the dark underbelly of South Africa, into its Black townships and their gangs. There are no winners.

So get your favorite beverage, settle down and begin to read. I'm betting you'll finish ZULU before you finish your drink.
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