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Sacrifices by [Smith, Roger]
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Sacrifices Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Length: 290 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Sacrifices

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

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

"Brilliant writing. A fascinating, very sophisticated and very dark story." Radio 702

"Violent and brilliant! It's Crime and Punishment in South Africa." Le Monde (France)

"A frightening thriller. Machiavellian until the very last line." Le Figaro (France)

"A whirlwind of death and vengeance." Advantages (France)

"A mercilessly moral image of South African society. Purgatory with sea views. This thriller bites like a pit bull." Kölnische Rundschau (Germany)

"One's own sense of injustice is put to the test. Smith blurs the boundaries between good and evil and shatters the stereotypes of rich and poor." Aachener Zeitung (Germany)

"A thriller that is both brutal and subtle." Sonntagszeitung (Switzerland) Crime Novel of the Month

"An excellent, violent crime thriller with real depth." Der Standard  (Austria)

"Smith's a master of suspense, setting the reader on a trip so shocking that you're afraid to put the book down." Sunday Times

"Smith writes coolly and with grace about unspeakable horror." Cape Argus

"In the South Africa of today this is a shockingly credible scenario." The Citizen

"So satisfying drawn, a tragedy in which we watch, compelled, the destruction of lives that crash amidst deception and guilt. " Cape Times

"Compulsive reading. Smith plots his tale with a master's hand." The Gamblers Blog

"Smith's bleakest, most twisted and very best novel yet." Dead End Follies

From the Author

There are a couple of authors named Roger Smith. Please make sure you are buying one of my books by checking the list of titles on my Amazon author page or by visiting my website:

Product Details

  • File Size: 634 KB
  • Print Length: 290 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Tin Town (July 16, 2013)
  • Publication Date: July 16, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00DZJV99O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,040 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Scott Kennedy on July 30, 2013
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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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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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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