An Afrikaans writer of huge output, with 24 novels for adults under his belt, Francois Bloemhof’s writing shines even in translation. Or maybe Maya Fowler’s contribution is an enhancement? This is an intriguing play/novel with only half a dozen characters, a come-into-my-parlour-said-the-spider plot and some fatal attractions that could only lead to disaster. Ah, but who, exactly is the spider? And, how many flies?
Ex-cop Paul Mullan helps millionaire businessman Bernard Russell to change his car’s burst tyre in the pouring rain, and is invited to stay the night in his opulent mansion, Journey’s End.
Which is what it seems as if it is going to be, for a man who thinks he has nothing to lose, what with the disaster behind him that ripped his life apart.
Then there is a glimmer of light embedded in an apple of temptation, and he can’t help himself from reaching out for a bite…
The characters, being so few of them, have every chance of being moulded in convincing detail, which is a daunting task if you are going to keep the twists coming right up to the end. Nothing turns out as it seems. Which, for me, made it slightly hollow, not being even allowed a hint of those other character traits that would explain those total surprises.
Thank you to Dominique Le Grange [firstname.lastname@example.org] for this review copy. www.penguinbooks.co.za