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Gat enters 1961 South Africa with a secret: he’s an assassin. With a wallet full of blood money and instructions to “Disappear,” he arrives seeking redemption from excesses of the Katanga Gendarmerie, the Congo’s colonial police force.
In Cape Town he meets Petra who’s about to start university. He also encounters her father, Piet Rousseau, a no-nonsense police colonel, an enforcer of apartheid. Gat makes it clear to Rousseau that, despite what he’s done in the Congo, he considers apartheid morally wrong and destructive of society.
Gat and Petra become entangled in a strong and immediate attraction. She wants desperately to escape her father’s overprotective care. But loving him, she is blind to his culpability in enforcing apartheid. What better way to escape too much protection than to begin a passionate love affair with a mysterious man she hardly knows? They set off across the country to take Petra to university.
But what police colonel will allow a stranger to steal his unsullied daughter? Not Piet Rousseau! Once Piet realizes that the pair have gone off, he sets out to catch them – and punish Gat. The outcome for all three builds to the novel’s climax.
This historical novel, based on actual events, provides a hair-raising look at the worst-of-times under the Afrikaner regime.
"With a nod to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, Frederic Hunter beautifully explores the subtle and sensual power of love as a counter force to the diseases of racism and war. Though set in South Africa, with nightmare flashbacks to the Congo when Lamumba was assassinated, the suspenseful narrative resonates with deeply moving timeliness." -NPR
FREDERIC HUNTER’s first encounter with Africa came as a Foreign Service Officer of the United States Information Service assigned to the Congo. He served there in three posts: Coquilhatville, Bukavu, and Leopoldville. After taking a master's degree from UCLA in African Studies, he served as the Africa Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor.
A playwright and screenwriter as well as a novelist, his award-winning stage work The Hemingway Play received a workshop production at the Eugene O Neill Playwrights Conference and was produced by PBS' Hollywood Television Theater series. Movies Hunter has written have been produced by PBS, ABC and CBS. He has also taught screenwriting at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and at Principia College where he also gave a course in Modern African Literature.