Martin Steyn, one of South Africa’s top writers of crime fiction, is experiencing a warm welcome to the US market.
Kirkus Reviews has awarded Dark Traces, Steyn’s debut novel, a Kirkus Star, a prestigious designation given to books of exceptional merit. In the starred review, the novel is described as “[a] dark, intriguing, and satisfying tale with strong characters.”
Dark Traces is the English translation of Donker spoor, originally published in Afrikaans in 2014 and awarded the ATKV Prize for Suspense Fiction in 2015. In October 2017, it was released in the US by Catalyst Press, and has been getting rave reviews since.
The Library Journal hails it a “captivating debut thriller”, while The New York Journal of Books describes it as “fascinating and compelling for its unfamiliar—at least, to most American readers—setting, its well-drawn and sympathetic characters, and the totally believable psychopath whose vicious murders are at the center of the plot.”
An interview with Steyn also features in the November 2017 edition of The Big Thrill magazine, in which Michael Sears notes: “Martin places a premium on realism, and it shows in the book. But his character study of his protagonist, Jan Magson, and the people caught up in the killer’s wake are riveting.”
About the book:
When a child is murdered, it always seems as if a light has been extinguished in a parent’s eyes.
They find her decomposing body in the veld. A teenager. She was raped and tortured for days. She was hanged. She wasn’t the first.
The South African Police Service’s Warrant Officer Jan Magson, estranged from his son and still grieving for his wife, is assigned to the case. He must look the mothers and fathers in the eye. He must answer their questions. And he can’t.
Headlines question the police’s ability to protect the community from this evil. A newspaper prints a mother’s heart-wrenching letter to the killer. A father offers a substantial reward. And every time another lead reaches a dead end, Magson finds himself looking down at another dead girl.
Martin Steyn’s Dark Traces deals with two sides of homicide: sadistic murder and euthanasia: killing for pleasure and killing for love.
TITLE: Dark Traces
AUTHOR: Martin Steyn
CATEGORY: Crime thriller
FORMAT: Trade Paperback
PUBLISHER: LAPA Publishers (South Africa) and Catalyst Press (USA)
Rights queries? Contact Catrina Wessels.