Wednesday, May 03, 2006

'Out to Score' (Mike Nicol & Joanne Hichens)

We’ve been deprived for too long – devouring novels that meander down the Sunset Strip; that cower in Central Park. We’ve consumed local colour not our own.

But Out to Score, the gritty collaboration by Mike Nicol and Joanne Hichens, gives us Cape Town. Real and ugly and familiar and breathtaking.

Nicol says that Cape Town has “become a character… because [it] has reached its puberty, and because [it] is the most complex city in the country… given to such emotional trauma…and to such dangerous beauty”.

Setting notwithstanding, Out to Score is a solid crime thriller with insights into perlemoen poaching (and its sharks, above and below sea-level).

Although I found the plot threads tricky to follow and the bad guys hard to spot, the story is ably held together by protagonists Mullet and Vincent: tongue-in-cheek stereotypes made real by their superb dialogue.

Buy it. You'll discover what a treat it is to read "the Green Point mile" and "a block past Giovanni's", and to know what the author sees.

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