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martin steyn
Catalyst Press LAPA

dark traces

When a child is murdered,
a light is extinguished in a parent’s eyes.

They find her decomposing body in the veld. A teenager. She was raped and tortured for days. She was hanged. And she wasn’t the first.

The South African Police Service’s Warrant Officer Jan Magson, estranged from his son and still grieving for his wife, is assigned to the case. He has to look the mothers and fathers in the eye. He has to answer their questions. And he can’t.

Headlines question the police’s ability to protect the community from this evil. A newspaper prints a mother’s heart-wrenching letter to the killer. A father offers a substantial reward.

And every time a lead reaches a dead end, Magson finds himself looking down at another dead girl, wondering how he’s going to make it through the dark traces of yet another night, alone, a service gun at his side.

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