These are some of the more important characters you’ll get to know in Dark Traces.
WO Jan Magson
Magson is appointed as the investigating officer when the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the veld near Durbanville. Even before he learns that it’s not an isolated case, he doesn’t want the docket. Magson is still in mourning following his wife’s death, and at 54 he is in the final years of his career in the South African Police Service.
WO Colin Menck
Menck and Magson have been partners for many years. One of his informants refers to them as “M&M”. With Menck’s sense of humour and Magson’s more serious nature, they tend to complement each other nicely. Menck is 40, married to Kathy, and father of Ben and Casey.
Lt.Col. John Hattingh
Hattingh is the unit commander of the Serious Violent Crimes Unit in Bishop Lavis. At any given time, he has between forty and fifty detectives under his command and the entire Western Cape to cover. As the name suggests, SVC investigates the most serious cases of interpersonal violence: murder, bank and transit robberies, kidnapping and attacks on police officers. And that’s before the powers that be start calling.
Capt. Henz Kritzinger
Kritzinger is one of four group leaders at the Serious Violent Crimes Unit. At present there are ten detectives under his command, ranging in age from late twenties to middle fifties. His group is on call the weekend when the girl’s body is discovered near Durbanville.
Dr. Sinette Killian
Dr. Killian is a forensic pathologist on staff at the University of Cape Town and the Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Salt River. It is the busiest mortuary in South Africa, where around 3 500 autopsies are performed annually.