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A short book, a novella written by the South African author Deon Meyer and featuring detectives Benny Griessel with his partner Vaughn Cupido.

The two are described replete with their usual back and forth kidding and the setting in Capetown. The plot involves the murder of a woman, originally an American, currently living in London and visiting South Africa for the first time. She has been found dead, her body naked and draped across a rock.

Benny and Vaughn are assigned the case and involve the up to date scientific methods utilized by modern police departments to work it. A pleasant side bar to the detective work is Benny’s financial problems in buying an engagement ring for his live in girl friend. We get to the end of the novel with a solution which utilizes Mr Meyer’s knowledge of the art world.

The story is entertaining, easy enough to read in a few pleasant hours, but far from Deon Meyer’s normal novels featuring Benny and Vaughn. The author has already introduced his audience to his main characters so that there is no surprise in their investigations. But there is nothing in the telling of the story that makes it anything but a pleasant way to spend a few spare hours. Those readers familiar with the detectives should certainly continue to seek out future books involving them, and the entertaining style invite back new readers not enthralled with them.

1/19 Paul Lane

THE WOMAN IN THE BLUE CLOAK by Deon Meyer. Hodder & Stoughton (October 4, 2018).  ISBN 978-1529309263. 160p.

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