'The Wall': fast and funny crime fiction at its finest

While 'The Wall' touches on serious issues, it is an easy read with plenty of laughs

13 May 2019 - 10:52
Annas does not shy away from issues like gun violence and racism, but does so with humour.
Annas does not shy away from issues like gun violence and racism, but does so with humour.
Image: LAPA

The Pines, a gated community in East London, protects homeowners from crime. But nobody will protect the young man trapped behind its walls.

Moses wants one thing: to get home where his girlfriend and a cold beer are waiting for him, but his car breaks down in an empty street with not a single human being in sight.

Moses slips into The Pines hoping to find help from a university classmate who lives there.

Over there, in the “white” world, everything seems calm, orderly, safe. But once inside, he feels more of an outsider than ever.

Then he makes a terrible mistake.

While The Wall touches on serious issues, it is an easy read with plenty of laughs. Mistaken identities, racial profiling, and class politics form the backdrop of this intense thriller.

Annas does not shy away from issues like gun violence and racism, but does so with humour. His characters bristle with life.

Mike Nicol, author of Agents of the State and Sleeper, says of The Wall:

“The characters are wonderful, their antics more so, and, to top it all, the story is laugh-out-loud hilarious. Long have I suspected that this is how life plays out in South Africa’s gated communities. If you like your crime fiction fast and funny, then The Wall is your book.”

Max Annas used to live in East London, where he taught at the University of Fort Hare before returning to his homeland, Germany. He still visits South Africa regularly. With his debut, The Farm, he won the German Crime Fiction Prize in 2014. It is being filmed here in South Africa at present. The Wall is his second novel and was awarded the 2017 German Crime Fiction Prize. Annas is working on a third book with a working title entitled The City.

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