Roger Smith

An American, hiding out in Cape Town, South Africa, after being blackmailed into a bank heist back home, is building a new life for his pregnant wife and young son, when an incident of random violence sets him on a collision course with street gangs and a rogue cop who loves killing almost as much as he loves Jesus Christ.


"Smith does an outstanding job of bringing Cape Town to life, taking us through the twists and turns of the local criminal world and the confusing labyrinth of racial identity in post-apartheid South  Africa." Kirkus Reviews     

"A bleak but magnificent portrait  of a still-divided city which fans of David Simon are likely to love." The Guardian

"Smith plays out that chilling sense of inevitability that is at the heart of the best noir. Like George Pelecanos, he captures lives trapped by poverty and prejudice without sentimentalizing those lives or downplaying the havoc they can produce. A fine debut." Booklist    

"Like a punch in the gut. You'll struggle to find a more forceful voice in current crime writing." Die Zeit (Germany)    

"Nothing short of a masterpiece." Le Libraire (Canada)

"A thriller for sure. Authentic and violent." Alibi Magazine (France)    

"One of the best thrillers of the year." Telerama (France)

"A staggeringly clearsighted view of contemporary South Africa. A brilliant thriller."  

WDR 2 Books (Germany)                                                                    


"A story in the best noir tradition, with no room for political correctness or a sweet and happy ending." Focus Magazine (Germany)                                                                                                                                    

"In his stunning Cape Town thriller Roger Smith takes no prisoners." SonntagsZeitung (Zurich)                                                                                            

"One of the most impressive thrillers you are likely to read this year." Bookgasm                                                                                                                   

"A lean, bloodthirsty, yet meditative story that is almost impossible to put down, offering the rewards of a literary thriller combined with the zip of a powerful movie." Florida Times-Union   

"Haunted by the violence and hatred of South Africa's history Smith's Cape Town is Dickensian in its presentation of thugs and murderers and an especially wonderful villain." Richmond Times-Dispatch   


"A very brutal, absolutely gripping walk on the wild side. All ends in a devastating climax,  making Mixed Blood a shattering page-turner." The Anniston Star    

"A gripping thriller that follows believable (if sometimes grotesque) characters along a desperate rush to ruin. Highly recommended." Library Journal        

"A cinematic Cape Town thriller." BookPage                                       

"Smith offers a gritty tale of corruption and vengeance set in South Africa in his absorbing debut." Publishers Weekly                                                                                                                                  

"The spare, well-paced story gathers momentum to a Miltonic moment of retribution." Mystery Scene Magazine

"The repulsive Rudi "Gatsby" Barnard, an Afrikaner cop, is as corrupt and villainous as any in recent fiction." Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine                                       


"A frenetic roller-coaster of noirish desperation. Fast and furious, full of blood and vengeance." Sunday Times                                                          

"By far the most unsettling crime novel I have read in the last couple of years. The unrelenting action, the edginess, will mesmerize readers of dark, stylized crime fiction. This is one hectic ride you don't want to miss." Cape Times         

"The characters are wonderfully complex. The violence is stunning. If you like classy thrillers, then this is a must-read." Cape Argus                      

"A tale of vengeance and entrapment, striking a perfect balance between action and plot twists and insight into the bleak and brutal repercussions of apartheid." Wordsetc                                                                                                                         

"From the very first page you knew you were in for a tough ride and I couldn't put this book down. A great comparison is Pelecanos' hard look at Washington DC, or an earlier Richard Price. Great genre writing ." Three Guys One                                                                                                                    

"Deals with characters spiralling out from a break in on the high-rent slopes of Cape Town's spectacular mountains all drawn vividly in the complexity and beauty of the city itself. Has a drive and an inevitability that makes it a compelling read." International Noir Fiction  

"A gripping narrative. The ending is suitably noir-bleak, inevitable and breathtaking." The Drowning Machine                                   

"A fast-paced story of merciless hunters and their prey. Horrific images from a South African society where wounds from decades of apartheid are still not healed." Krimiblog (Germany)                                             

"The plot moves along at a frenetic pace and the enigmatic characters keep readers guessing. This is an impressive debut novel." The Mystery Reader  

"Once I started Mixed Blood, I felt it would be somehow denying reality to put it down. Isn't that the point of such shadowy fiction -- to  make us walk paths much, much darker than our own?” WMRA blog

"An adventure into another part of the world you won't soon forget." New Mystery Reader Magazine