In 1970s South Africa, desire and desperation have bloody consequences.
HELL OF A COUNTRY
by David Cornwell
(via The Lennon-Ritchie Agency)
Seventeen-year-old Lorraine van Niekerk despises the fact that her boss and lover, middle-aged André Bekker, won’t leave his hateful wife for her.
Driver Alfie Geemooi is horrified when he wakes up in Groote Schuur’s Non-White wing after a car crash with one leg missing.
Alfie and Lorraine’s lives intersect fatefully in André’s consultation rooms. André is an orthopaedic technician, and Lorraine can grant access to the prothesis Alfie so desperately needs.
But at a price.
HELL OF A COUNTRY is a fictionalised retelling of the Scissors Murder—a famous true-crime story from early 1970s South Africa. A pacy and poetic work told in the third person from multiple points of view, it focuses on the meeting-point between political machinery and personal desire, and uses the true-crime genre to tell a fresh and original story about South Africa’s turbulent past in a deeply human and engaging way.
David Cornwell’s debut novel, LIKE IT MATTERS, was published by Penguin Random House in South Africa to critical acclaim. The book was longlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and shortlisted for the 9mobile Award for Best African Fiction Debut. David’s short film, Die Onderspit, was developed as part of KykNET’s Silwerskermfees festival program. He also co-wrote a screenplay with Damon Galgut. David’s feature film Pou (Peacock) was shown at Idyllwild, the Buffalo International Festival, the Winter Film Awards, Razor Reel and at SA Horror Fest. Born in Grahamstown, he currently lives in Johannesburg.