Having a new Roger Smith book published is always a special event and Smith has certainly outdone himself with his latest book, Nowhere. If you have been following Smith throughout his career you know that he has serious writing chops and can create characters that have strong moral centers, but he balances that with some of the darkest, soul-crushing antagonists that you will ever find. This book brings back his protagonist, Disaster Zondi, and introduces us to a real slice of evil in Steve Bungi.
There are two seemingly separate storylines ongoing in this great novel. Zondi is tasked with bringing a former white supremacist to justice by arresting him on a murder charge. While it seems like an open and shut case, many things are not as they appear and Zondi is not the type to let something go once he sinks his teeth into it. He becomes determined to get to the bottom of why the pieces of this case don’t quite fit together.
Steve Bungi is on a mission to clear the name of his boss, the South African president, after he brutally murders his own wife. Bungi uses blackmail and many other dirty moves to set the table to help his boss avoid justice. Bungi is one hell of an evil character and a great character creation. Just when you think he can’t do something more evil than what he has done, he sinks to a new low.
Roger Smith seems to have flown under many peoples’ radars and I think this book will be a breakthrough for him. His strength as a writer comes from writing in crime dramas that feature believable characters that have both strengths and flaws and Smith tailors his story perfectly to both extremes. This book is like a double shot of espresso; dark, bitter, and leaves a burn. This is strong shit that needs to be read like you drink the previously mentioned espresso; quick and in one shot.
Reviewed by Derrick Horodyski.