Crime Fiction – South African Style


My crime novel, Present Tense, is set in Cape Town, South Africa. Since it was published, many readers have wanted to know more about crime fiction in that country, and asked me to recommend some good crime novels set there. So here’s a brief rundown, and pointers to some absolutely wonderful South African crime writers.

Like Australia, South Africa has a long tradition of crime writing, going back to the late nineteenth century. During apartheid (1948 – 1994) the country produced little crime fiction but after apartheid ended the genre took off and today crime fiction is very popular. Here are ten of my favourite South African crime writers, not in any particular order:



I am thrilled to announce that Present Tense has won the 2020 Ned Kelly award for best debut crime novel. These awards (we call them the Neddies) are given by the Australian Crime Writers Association. Here’s the announcement:

Along with being shortlisted for the Davitt Awards, that makes for some ritzy stickers on the cover.