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Memo From Turner

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What happens when a man of absolute integrity finds himself trapped in a world of absolute corruption? During a weekend spree in Cape Town a young, rich Afrikaner fatally injures a teenage street girl with his Range Rover but is too drunk to know that he has hit her. His companions – who do know – leave the girl to die. The driver’s mother, a self-made mining magnate called What happens when a man of absolute integrity finds himself trapped in a world of absolute corruption? During a weekend spree in Cape Town a young, rich Afrikaner fatally injures a teenage street girl with his Range Rover but is too drunk to know that he has hit her. His companions – who do know – leave the girl to die. The driver’s mother, a self-made mining magnate called Margot Le Roux, intends to keep her son in ignorance of his crime. Why should his life be ruined for a nameless girl who was already terminally ill? No one will care and the law is cheap. But by chance the case falls to the relentless Warrant Officer Turner of Cape Town homicide. When Turner travels to the remote mining town that Margot owns – including the local police and private security force – he finds her determined to protect her son at any cost. As the battle of wills escalates, and the moral contradictions multiply, Turner won’t be bought and won’t be bullied, and when they try to bury him he rediscovers, during a desperate odyssey to the very brink of death, a long-forgotten truth about himself... By the time Willocks's tale is finished, fourteen men have died. He shows once again that he is the laureate of the violent thriller.


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What happens when a man of absolute integrity finds himself trapped in a world of absolute corruption? During a weekend spree in Cape Town a young, rich Afrikaner fatally injures a teenage street girl with his Range Rover but is too drunk to know that he has hit her. His companions – who do know – leave the girl to die. The driver’s mother, a self-made mining magnate called What happens when a man of absolute integrity finds himself trapped in a world of absolute corruption? During a weekend spree in Cape Town a young, rich Afrikaner fatally injures a teenage street girl with his Range Rover but is too drunk to know that he has hit her. His companions – who do know – leave the girl to die. The driver’s mother, a self-made mining magnate called Margot Le Roux, intends to keep her son in ignorance of his crime. Why should his life be ruined for a nameless girl who was already terminally ill? No one will care and the law is cheap. But by chance the case falls to the relentless Warrant Officer Turner of Cape Town homicide. When Turner travels to the remote mining town that Margot owns – including the local police and private security force – he finds her determined to protect her son at any cost. As the battle of wills escalates, and the moral contradictions multiply, Turner won’t be bought and won’t be bullied, and when they try to bury him he rediscovers, during a desperate odyssey to the very brink of death, a long-forgotten truth about himself... By the time Willocks's tale is finished, fourteen men have died. He shows once again that he is the laureate of the violent thriller.

30 review for Memo From Turner

  1. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    This is a dark, brutal and disturbing story set in the harsh, remote scrubland and desert of Northern Cape, South Africa. The well-written descriptions of its setting infuse it with a strong visual aspect. You can feel the blistering heat through the author's vivid use of language. I was reluctant to award it with my rare 5 stars because of its graphic violence, blood and gore. I understand the book may not be for everyone and found some passages made it difficult not to look away from the page. This is a dark, brutal and disturbing story set in the harsh, remote scrubland and desert of Northern Cape, South Africa. The well-written descriptions of its setting infuse it with a strong visual aspect. You can feel the blistering heat through the author's vivid use of language. I was reluctant to award it with my rare 5 stars because of its graphic violence, blood and gore. I understand the book may not be for everyone and found some passages made it difficult not to look away from the page. However, I found the story so compelling and suspenseful I could not put the book down. I was often tempted to turn to the ending to read the outcome before proceeding with the rest of story but was glad I didn't. Turner is employed by the Cape Town police department. His title is warrant officer, but I was unclear what authority this gave him in any investigation. He is a man of integrity and moral certainty, a determined and relentless seeker of justice. He is considered a "good man" by others and himself until he isn't. At one point he comes to designate himself a 'monster'. His goal is to arrest a drunken hit- and- run driver in a remote mining town. The town is run by a powerful, wealthy woman, Margot. She is a mining magnate living in a luxurious compound. She has her own murderous security force and controls the police through her position and wealth. One night her husband and beloved son exited a tavern in the city. They had been celebrating her son's graduation on his way to practicing law. with them was the son's best friend, described as a young iron pumping, steroid using 'redneck farmer'. There had been some heavy drinking. Margot's son in a drunken stupor backed the car into a sickly street girl who was rummaging in a dumpster for discarded food. He was oblivious to the fact he had hit anyone. The stepfather (Margot's second husband) drives away leaving the girl to die a painful death alone. The intent was to place the blame on the son's friend who witnessed most of the accident while keeping the son unaware of what happened. When Turner arrives in the remote settlement he learns the truth, but Margot intends to protect her son from any knowledge of the girl's death and his role in it. Turner cannot be bought off like so many others and refuses bribes. He is heroic but his moral honour begins to make his character scary. He is frightening in his drive and determination to achieve justice for the dead girl. The reader begins to see some sense in the motivations of the villains This sets a tone of moral ambiguity which is disturbing. Is anyone totally right or wrong? I won't outline what happens except to say bodies pile up in rapid succession. Many thanks to Blackstone publishing for an advanced copy of this very absorbing and suspenseful novel in return for my honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    The Cannibal

    Mais quelle voix rauque, cette Turner ! Quel déhanchement ! Quels frissons elle me donne lorsqu'elle chante « GoldenEye »… Mille excuses, on m'annonce dans l'oreillette qu'il y a un Ike dans le potage et que ce n'est pas de Tina Turner que l'on parle dans ce roman mais d'un flic têtu et bourré de violence qui ne demande qu'à sortir si on vient lui chercher des poux dans la tête. L'Afrique du Sud, sans ses vuvuzelas, mais bien ses Township, sa misère crasse, pour ne pas dire noire puisque là-bas, c Mais quelle voix rauque, cette Turner ! Quel déhanchement ! Quels frissons elle me donne lorsqu'elle chante « GoldenEye »… Mille excuses, on m'annonce dans l'oreillette qu'il y a un Ike dans le potage et que ce n'est pas de Tina Turner que l'on parle dans ce roman mais d'un flic têtu et bourré de violence qui ne demande qu'à sortir si on vient lui chercher des poux dans la tête. L'Afrique du Sud, sans ses vuvuzelas, mais bien ses Township, sa misère crasse, pour ne pas dire noire puisque là-bas, c'est Le Blanc qui régna en maître et qui règne toujours. Une femme pauvre et miséreuse qui se fait écrabouiller contre un container de poubelles et qui meurt dans d'atroces souffrances 30 minutes après, ça ne devrait même pas faire lever la tête des flics du Cap, la ville qui a un taux de criminalité à faire pâlir Tijuana, mais loin derrière la ville de Los Cabos. Pourtant, Turner, lui, veut le résoudre, ce crime crapuleux et trouver ces Blancs qui n'ont même pas pris la peine d'appeler les secours, même s'ils auraient été inutiles. Dans ce roman, on commence à l'envers puisque la scène d'ouverture est une de celles qui se passeront à la fin. Ça donne déjà envie de savoir comment Turner s'est retrouvé dans cette merde et une fois que l'on est revenu au point de départ, on n'a plus qu'une envie, tracer sa route et savoir. Le suspense ne sera pas important niveau coupable puisque nous savons quasi qui a fait le coup, ne reste plus qu'à le prouver et traîner des Blancs riches et puissants devant les tribunaux, et vous savez que c'est là que ça va se corser, comme disaient les Romains face à Ocatarinetabellatchitchix. Dans ce roman surchauffé et bourré de corruption, pas de manichéisme, personne n'est tout blanc ni tout noir, même celui qui a écrasé la pauvre fille et l'a laissé agoniser sur le bitume. Quant à Turner, malgré le fait qu'il soit incorruptible, quand on le cherche, on le trouve et généralement, on bouffe son acte de naissance jusqu'à la racine. Un roman noir survolté, un roman où l'Afrique du Sud et son racisme est bien présent, un roman où les exactions de l'Homme sont bien décrites, sa cupidité aussi, ainsi que le fait qu'on ne bâtit pas une fortune en jouant aux Bisounours. Un roman où une scène terrible m'a fait sauter des lignes, tant elle était horrible mais pourtant, nécessaire à la survie. Un roman où les personnages sont si proches qu'on pourrait presque les toucher, un roman où la frontière entre le bien et le mal est ténue et où la ligne rouge est facile à franchir dès qu'on pense qu'on agit dans ses droits ou qu'on s'arrange avec sa propre conscience. Un roman où l'écrasement d'une pauvresse déjà condamné au Cap va déclencher un tsunami de morts dans une ville (Langkopf) encore plus paumée que le trou du cul de l'anus monde (aux portes du Kalahari). Non mais les gars, est-ce que ça valait la peine de faire tant de mort pour si peu ? Aux lecteurs de juger… En tout cas, voilà un thriller policier qui envoyait du lourd et dans lequel on n'a pas le temps de s'ennuyer. PS : Mention spécial aux personnages de Turner, Simon, Hennie et Mokoena et de Mimymathy… Pardon, Iminathi !

  3. 4 out of 5

    Audrey RZR

    Un roman noir original, brutal et émouvant. Avec une écriture efficace et des personnages passionnants, manichéens, Tim Willocks mène le lecteur sur les terres de l'Afrique du Sud, à la rencontre de l'inspecteur Turner, qui tente de trouver le meurtrier d'une jeune fille noire, écrasée par une voiture. Il va très vite porter ses soupçons sur le fils de Margot Le Roux, une femme puissante et blanche, qui ne laissera pas Turner gâcher la vie de sa famille. Attention, certains passages sont durs à lir Un roman noir original, brutal et émouvant. Avec une écriture efficace et des personnages passionnants, manichéens, Tim Willocks mène le lecteur sur les terres de l'Afrique du Sud, à la rencontre de l'inspecteur Turner, qui tente de trouver le meurtrier d'une jeune fille noire, écrasée par une voiture. Il va très vite porter ses soupçons sur le fils de Margot Le Roux, une femme puissante et blanche, qui ne laissera pas Turner gâcher la vie de sa famille. Attention, certains passages sont durs à lire car assez violents. J'ai adoré ce thriller original par son cadre, son intrigue et ses personnages. La fin est à la hauteur, avec un bon suspens et quelques révélations. Un des meilleurs romans noirs lus cette année, je vous le recommande.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Trinder

    The usual Willocks pillars are all here - clean but descriptive writing, psychological insights into his characters, and medically described violence. Instead of a plot, he sets up flawed, passionate characters and then lets them knock each other down (with guns, fists etc.) It still works for me. The highlight is what Turner does out there in the desert. Three stars but in a glass half full kind of way (12 Children of Paris was half empty.)

  5. 5 out of 5

    valerie cameron

    The novel was gripping for the first half. Details about the shebeen and township were more authentic and interesting than the sumptuous mineowner's house and grounds.Where it got lost was the murder count- Turner kills 9 people in the end against all odds. Willcocks' descriptions of blood and gore,and the dry landscape are very authentic. His characters are interesting and largely believable. However the plot didn't ring true, even allowing for artistic license.

  6. 4 out of 5

    joe mc ghee

    Patience pays off Happy to read another Tim Willocks book. Maybe not as epic as the Tannhauser stories but a great read all the same. Really enjoyed it. Good characters. Good graphic gory descriptions similar to The Religion. Hopefully more from Mr Willocks in the future. And if it involves Turner all the better...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sean Farrell

    Top notch thriller. A real return to form.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brighty

  9. 5 out of 5

    lagrange daniel

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael McAra

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bird

  14. 5 out of 5

    Philip Cowdery

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mésange

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  17. 5 out of 5

    a p roberts

  18. 5 out of 5

    Danielbeatty

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Jackson

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ghmackay

  21. 5 out of 5

    G J

  22. 5 out of 5

    Perry Bhandal

  23. 4 out of 5

    James Labbé

  24. 4 out of 5

    Judy

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sinead Courtney

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ailsa Reynolds

  27. 4 out of 5

    Dr Peter Banks

  28. 5 out of 5

    Paul McNamee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Huguelet Michou

  30. 5 out of 5

    Yuyine

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