Out to Score (Umuzi, 2006)
Co-authored by Mike Nicol
In the dunes a killer buries the bodies of street kids. Along the coast the abalone wars erupt in murder and firefights as gangs and syndicates battle for the Cape aphrodisiac so prized in the East. The profits are huge; the cost is counted in corpses.
An action-packed crime novel, a forerunner in an exciting genre in contemporary South African writing, Out to Score is set against the backdrop of the abalone wars along the Cape coast. It is the story of two private investigators from a two-bit agency involved in seemingly different cases. Jeffrey Mendes – nicknamed Mullet after his hairstyle – is hired by the wife of a financial consultant who is allegedly soliciting rent boys. Vincent Saldana is contracted to track down a gang who are stealing from an abalone farm. The two cases converge, the action moves from central Cape Town to the suburbs, from east to west coast, as Mullet and Vincent tighten the net on the mastermind behind the scenes a Triad operator named Jim Woo and his accomplices.
Written jointly by Mike Nicol and Joanne Hichens, this fast and gritty thriller brings the world of the hard-boiled PI to Cape Town.
Published as Cape Greed in the USA.
Praise for Out to Score / Cape Greed
- "One test of a good thriller is that when you get near the end you find that you have to read it all over again to see how it works - how you have failed to see what has eventually become obvious, how the world is not what it seemed to be. Out to Score passes this test - not once, but several times." - Tony Morphet
- "At last, a hard-boiled detective novel that does for Cape Town what Carl Hiaasen has done for Miami." - Chris Roper, Marie Claire
- "Mendes and Saldana are going places, right to the top of the bestseller lists. And I can't wait for the next one." - Brian Joss, Plainsman
- "A truly scarifying race to the bottom." - Kirkus Review
- "A tale of murder uncomfortably close to home." - Vivien Horler, The Argus
- "Gritty, fast paced crime tale captures Cape milieu." - Michiel Heyns, Sunday Independent