The Serpentine Road

Even after the release of Nelson Mandela and the promise of free elections, extremist groups terrorized South Africa, bombing churches, opening fire in bars and restaurants. Nearly twenty-five years ago, as a young Captain, Vaughn de Vries finds himself in pursuit of the suspects of a fatal bombing in his precinct, under the command of one of the most feared white police officers of the time: Major Kobus Nel. Out of radio communication and without clear evidence, the SAPS barge into a township and set off a chain of events which will resonate for a quarter of a century.

In Cape Town in 2015, the heiress of an Apartheid-era industrialist is found murdered, her body posed to suggest a racial hate crime. But, as Colonel Vaughn De Vries investigates, possible motives for her death abound: a highly controversial art exhibition, her sexual preferences, her relationship - as yet unknown by the press - with the son of one of the heroes of The Struggle.

And, moving South down through the country, North to South, five men are murdered, each with a connection to a point in history De Vries would sooner forget. When the link is made, De Vries must re-live the traumatic event to uncover the perpetrator. Old wounds, hidden in history, are exposed, and a mysterious killer approaches, whom no one seems able to stop.



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'An excellent, uncompromising crime thriller made even better by its setting ... the story is two journeys in one, and I'm glad I took both'
Lee Child
This series just gets better and better. De Vries is utterly believable: fallible, weak, but ultimately, driven' 
SA Review of Books
''Mendelson plots so smoothly and writes so powerfully''
The Guardian
'A new Vaughn de Vries novel is the best news there is. Mendelson is the new King of SA Crime'
Books, 456 FM
'A jaw-droppingly brilliant crime thriller. Imagine The Killing moved to Cape Town and into the landscape of the hot and dusty African veld'
Philip Glenister
The novel fizzes, helped by a vivid backdrop of the country's post-apartheid transformation
The Times
His debut novel bristles with a command of language and narrative that suggests someone with a slew of novels to their name.
The Financial Times