Sacrificed

by Chanette Paul

Congo, 1961

A peace-loving man is murdered in cold blood and his beloved is left for dead.

53 years later

 

Rejected by her parents, her sister, her husband, everyone except her extraordinary daughter, Caz Colijn lives a secluded life in her own little patch of Africa. But a single phone call from her estranged sister in Belgium is all it takes to shatter this refuge.

Jetting between Belgium and AfricaCaz is so caught up in discovering the truth about the past, she almost doesn’t notice the man who is falling in love with her. Or the meaning behind the key she receives. Or the two Congolese who are following her every move in search for something they’re willing to kill for.

Congo 1961, a politically potent time, and the opening shot to Sacrificed as Ammie witnesses her beloved’s murder, his killer a man she knows well. Ammie escapes with more than she realises.

 

In South Africa, Caz Colijn has a child, with a wealthy farmer’s son. The farm has many black people working on it and when Caz’s baby is born, black, accusations of rape and infidelity fly. But things are not clear cut. With the baby’s white father and his family unprepared to accept the child as their family, Caz and her daughter are exiled.

 

Decades after being ‘chased away’ middle-aged translator Caz gets a phone call. Her mother and sister had turned their back on her and her daughter Lilah. But now, out of nowhere, Caz’s estranged family summon her to Belgium. Caz’s mother – who she didn’t even know was still alive - wants to see her before she dies. Despite her mother being ‘at her last gasp’ Caz is reluctant to go but her sister tells her news that turns her life upside down.

 

Her Mother can tell her who her biological parents are. It’s a call that triggers a European trip and a painful journey of reflection for Caz as everything she thought she knew is blown apart by the truth: a truth that might cost Caz her life.

 

Caz picks up a following, and danger is now on her tail, with murder not far away. Belgium doesn’t provide what she’s expecting with missing family unaccounted for and the police soon investigating crime. On learning of her ‘biological’ mother, why her adoptive parents kept her, and what she’s been left, Caz is left with bad people wanting what she has, and a turbulent past fitting with South Africa’s own often violent struggle.

 

There are many relationships to be explained and this drives a plot which also features hidden diamonds and a myriad of interesting characters - listed in the front - such as her supermodel daughter, a history professor, a Belgium detective and many more. It’s a lengthy book but doesn’t sag or drag. The settings are interesting and well depicted. The crimes of the changing South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo are rife for a thriller and it is a worthy, well-written tale.

 

Race and identity are explored in a thrilling story of political corruption, ruthless ambition and betrayal, with no shortage of heartache. Most of the threads merge and are tied up but there’s enough left hanging, for a part two…

 

Chanette Paul is the author of 41 novels in her native Afrikaans in South Africa. Sacrificed is her first to be translated into English.

 

From the Congo’s sparkling diamond mines to Belgium’s finest art galleries, from Africa’s civil unrest to its deeply spiritual roots, Sacrificed seamlessly crosses borders and decades with a fiercely captivating story.

 

 

 

About Chanette Paul

 

South African writer Chanette Paul has published 41 crime, suspense and romance novels over her prolific career. A bestselling author in her native country, she makes her U.S./English debut with Sacrificed.

 

Chanette’s stories are marked by strong female characters, women who earn their strength by confronting their demons, both internal and external, and by taking full responsibility for their choices. Her books are also known for the subtle social commentary and dry humor.

 

In South Africa, Chanette has been nominated six times for the prestigious ATKV-Woordveertjies award and has won the South African Lekkerlit award 3 times. She serves as an editor for LAPA Publishers. Sacrificed was translated into Dutch and launched in 2015 at the Antwerp Book Fair.