Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Stolen Lives"

Jassy Mackenzie was born in Rhodesia and moved to South Africa when she was eight years old. She lives in Kyalami with her partner, Dion, two horses and two cats. Her novels include Random Violence.

Mackenzie applied the Page 69 Test to her latest novel, Stolen Lives, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Stolen Lives, my heroine PI Jade de Jong and her conflicted love interest Superintendent David Patel are doing what they do best… fighting. This is no superficial argument, but something that will end up shattering their already strained relationship.

The trouble was started by Jade commenting on a news story about a rap artist who killed two pedestrians while driving drunk, and subsequently managed to walk free without doing any jail time. Jade told David that if one of her family had died, she would hunt down the rapper and kill him.

As a police detective, David is duty-bound to oppose the actions of vigilantes. He is aghast by her attitude – and more than that, he is afraid. He knows that Jade is a killer who has little regard for the law, and that her comment is no idle threat. He fears her dark side and everything it represents.

This argument between Jade and David has interesting parallels with the situation in South Africa, where the novel is set. Vigilantism is a huge problem, especially in the poorer communities, where known criminals and sometimes even suspected criminals become victims of mob justice when the police do not act in time.

The theme that is introduced on page 69 plays out through the entire novel. Towards the end, David is forced to reconsider his own stance on the subject when his young son is kidnapped by a ruthless gang of human traffickers. He realizes then that as a father he will do whatever it takes, murder included, to get his boy back unharmed.
Read an excerpt from Stolen Lives, and learn more about the book and author at Jassy Mackenzie's website.

The Page 69 Test: Random Violence.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue