A Homemade Coffin A Susman & Devil Crime Detective Thriller

Try it Now Firm without compromise. Cancel whenever you want.

Synopsis

When the phone rings, Robin knows it is De Villiers. He’s one of the few people who have her number. She also knows that someone has died.

“Who is it?” she asks him. “Who died?”

“We’re not sure if she’s dead.”

“Okay,” she says. What she means is: You’ll see.

“Perfect case for you,” says the captain. He makes it sound as if she enjoys learning about missing women. As if she’ll jump at the chance to drive into the savage city that took everything from her.

Robin turns and gazes out of the window. Red soil, cloudless sky. “It’s calving season.”

De Villiers hesitates. “Will you come?”

“There’s a calf here that needs me.”

“There’s a missing woman here that needs you more.”

What Susman doesn’t say: The calf is still alive. I can make a difference to the calf.


Ex-detective Robin Susman arrives in Johannesburg feeling resentful and tired after the drive. She's getting older; the journey is getting harder. She rubs her knees. Since when did driving make her knees ache? She spends a moment feeling powerless against the relentless surge of time; a torpedo with miniature grapple hooks that pull at your skin, hair, muscles, bones, psyche. What is the point? she wonders, as she takes in the visage of the smoky grey city. What is the point of anything?

De Villiers meets her at a coffee shop and greets her with a nod. It means: I appreciate you coming. I would hug you if it didn’t make you flinch. I wish you lived here in the city instead of on that fokken farm of yours in the middle of godforsaken wherever.

“How are you?” Robin asks when they sit down.

“You know,” Devil says, eyes bloodshot. “Overworked, underpaid.”

“Same as always, then,” says Robin.

Devil nods. “Same as always.”

Chapters