‘Margie Orford is the queen of South African crime thriller writers…’ Sue Grant-Marshall, The Weekender
When an emaciated child is found on an icy Cape mountainside, profiler Dr Clare Hart is baffled that no one has reported her missing. Where does she come from, who does she belong to? To further complicate matters, a distraught man pleads with Clare to find his missing granddaughter, Rosa, a gifted but troubled young cellist who has abandoned her music scholarship.
In a race against time, Clare battles to unravel the two cases and locate the missing Rosa. As winter tightens its grip, she is confronted by chilling secrets in a context where criminals act with increasing impunity and the police can no longer be trusted. Amidst the frenzy of the investigation, Clare must also bear a secret of her own.
Water Music is a page-turner with a masterly plot that will keep you reading to the last sentence. It is the fifth novel in Margie Orford’s Clare Hart series, which has been published to international acclaim.
The woman lay curled up inside the small box. She had been jammed into it. Her head must have pressed up against the top, her feet against the bottom. Her belly would have pressed painfully against her lungs, her thighs. If she had been alive to feel it.
A dog scavenging in an illegal building site digs up a bone. A human bone. She drags it back to where her mistress lies dead in an abandoned shed, but there are hundreds more … Skeletons which have lain undisturbed for centuries beneath Gallows Hill, where Cape Town’s notorious gibbets once stood.
Investigative profiler Dr Clare Hart is called in by Captain Riedwaan Faizal of the SAPS Gang Unit and soon discovers that a deadly, more recent secret lies hidden among these long-buried bones. Who was the woman in the green silk dress? Who wanted her dead? Who buried her body among these ancient graves?
As Clare Hart gets closer to revealing the truth about Gallows Hill, she becomes entangled with a fascinating but vulnerable young woman, and is drawn into a world of art, desire and destructive jealousy. Against the backdrop of corporate corruption and seething political tensions, Clare and Riedwaan’s complex relationship remains as explosive as ever – and their very lives are at risk: the keepers of the secret of the woman in the silk dress will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.
Gallows Hill is the fourth in Margie Orford’s Clare Hart series, published to acclaim around the world. Be warned – read one Clare Hart novel and you’re hooked!
A deserted street below Table Mountain.
A six-year-old ballerina waits alone for her mother to fetch her…
Riedwaan paused at the map, tracing the lines back to the evidence summaries that Clare Hart had made for each of the little girls. The abbreviated lives, the sparse detail. Name, date of birth, date and cause of death.
Yasmin there too. Not yet marked as dead.
‘It’s been more than seventy-two hours. If she wasn’t mine, I’d recognise this for what it is,’ he said. ‘A murder investigation.’
Captain Riedwaan Faizal is a member of Cape Town’s elite Gang Unit. Tough and streetwise, he is used to being a target. But when the danger of his anti-gang war envelops his only daughter and he becomes the prime suspect in her abduction, there is little he can do.
He turns to Dr Clare Hart, investigative journalist turned profiler. She is sceptical of Riedwaan Faizal, but she knows only too well what happens when little girls are abducted. Against her better judgement, she agrees to help look for Yasmin.
Their desperate search for the missing child, whose chances of survival diminish with each hour, unravels a web of deception and danger that puts all their lives at terrible risk.
The UK edition of DADDY'S GIRL, published by Corvus, is now out. Buy it at Amazon.co.uk.
A breathtaking, atmospheric thriller and a stunning return for investigator Dr Clare Hart. The gruesome murder of a homeless teenage boy suggests a methodical serial killer is at work in Walvis Bay, a depressed port, isolated in the vast sweep of the Namib Desert. It is a corrupt, claustrophobic place with a shifting population of people who came here only because they had to and where people know everything - and nothing - about each other.
As part of a cross-border policing initiative, Dr Clare Hart is sent to profile the possible killer. She works with Captain Tamar Damases, an astute local detective, who heads up the coastal town's Sexual Violence and Murder Unit. Clare is glad to be distracted from the implosion of what was till a few days ago a blossoming love affair with Captain Riedwaan Faizal, who turned out to be more married than she thought.... As the two women trace older crimes that may be related to the recent killings, nothing is as it seemed at first. And as Riedwaan comes to join Clare, to help with the investigation and to try to salvage their relationship, she realises that the harbour holds more than just rusting Russian fishing trawlers, and that a deadly cargo is ready to sail. It's not just their relationship that is in danger, their very lives - and the lives of others - are at stake....
When a beautiful young woman is found murdered on Cape Town's Seapoint promenade, journalist and part-time police profiler, Dr Clare Hart is drawn into the web of a brutal serial killer. As more bodies are discovered, Clare is forced to re-visit the brutal rape of her twin sister and the gang ties that bind Cape Town’s dark crime rings. Is her investigation into human trafficking linked to the murders or is the killer just playing a sick game with her?
Like Clockwork is a dark and compelling crime story which exposes the underbelly of porn and prostitution in the Mother City.
Reader's comment: ‘I have to tell you about my experience with “Like Clockwork”. You signed the book for me a couple of years back and I just never read it until I took it with me this year to Greece. I ended up reading it on my way to Istanbul and finished it in the bus with my cellphone torch. When we stopped for a toilet break, I was so scared to go to the toilet on my own as I had to go down a flight of stairs to this huge toilet at a garage. I always tell people this story now when I recommend the book. So gripping!’ Jacinta Avontuur, Cape Town.
Margie's foreign editions
Click here for a montage of Margie's covers from around the world, and for links to her international publishers.