The book started as a short story a few years ago and was originally about a thousand words long. I wanted to write something that allowed me to address crime, social politics and family dynamics in a story, but still have fun with characters – I saw the framework of the short story as a way to start this project and it evolved from there.
Although there’s a strong sense of physical violence in the story, I’m focussing more on the psychological side of crime – the monsters we create in our heads. It’s a dark piece of crime fiction that delves into socio-political problems of post-apartheid South Africa, where fear, economics and misunderstandings continue to drive a wedge between classes, and history repeats itself in ways we don’t realize.
Fear is Rudy Love’s biggest accomplice when it comes to making armed robberies in South Africa. The high crime rate around the country stirs up paranoia and gets people thinking the worst of criminals. By the time he and his friends have surrounded a car wearing balaclavas and leather gloves, they could point a French loaf at their targets and still get the desired response.
The rest is easy, so long as they stick to five simple rules:
1. Target isolated foreigners only.
2. No more than two people at a time.
3. Cash only.
4. No hostages or excessive violence.
5. Always stick together.
It’s a simple, low-risk formula that works and to avoid any mishaps they stick to it religiously. Until Rudy gets into a bind and needs to start bending his own rules.