Requiem in E Sharp by Joan De La Haye

I have to start by talking about the title for this book. The use of the word requiem is quite clever but the mention of E# is what really grabbed my interest. At first I thought it was just F. Then a little searching revealed that it is usually a term used to refer to F Natural. It is really an enharmonic note. So the title of this book is almost a puzzle in itself. By my twisted logic it is equivalent to a repose for the dead. Or is it a play on words and re-pose instead? My head was hurting before I’d even started reading the book.

This story is set in Pretoria. I know very little about South Africa outside of the news so I was looking forward to the setting. It was interesting to see how the post-apartheid office politics played out. I thought the way that the author made the daily violence and corruption that hovered in the background of this story seem the norm was very interesting and effective. I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Pretoria tourist board leaflets by Joan De La Haye any time soon.

The story itself is relatively simple.  A serial killer with mummy issues tries to get in the head of the police detective in charge. What makes this story so interesting is the interactions of the characters. The relationships and character flaws are so compelling that I just had to find out more. Once you start reading this book there is no turning back. You have to finish it. There are not any huge twists in this story but I wasn’t entirely sure which characters were going to die at the end. Even the main character is at risk because it is hard to tell whether he actually cares about living anymore.

This is not just a thriller by genre, it will keep you reading in to the small hours of the night.


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