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Roger Smith / James Rayburn Books In Order

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Publication Order of Cape Town Books

Publication Order of RogerSmith Standalone Novels

Dust Devils (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Capture (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Vile Blood (As: Max Wilde) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sacrifices (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Man Down (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nowhere (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Truth Itself (As:James Rayburn) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ash (As:James Rayburn) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of RogerSmith Short Stories/Novellas

Ishmael Toffee (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Mythologically Torqued: Volume 1(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Roger Smith is a reputed South African novelist, who is popular for writing mystery, thriller, and suspense novels. He was born in Johannesburg and currently resides in Cape Town. Smith made his debut as an author with the 2009 book called Mixed Blood. This book has been published in 6 countries and is the winner of the German Crime Prize. Smith’s second novel, Wake Up Dead, was included among the ten best picks of the South Africa Times, Krimiwelt, and Philadelphia Enquirer. It had also received a nomination for the prestigious German Krimi Blitz Reader’s Award. Both Wake Up Dead and Mixed Blood have received nominations for the New Voice Awards by Spinetingler Magazine in the United States and are now in talks to be developed into feature films. Other than writing under his original name, Smith also uses the pseudonyms of Max Wilde and James Rayburn for writing his espionage thriller and suspense novels. Smith is also renowned as a filmmaker. His mystery thrillers are particularly set in Cape Town and are highly praised.

Smith’s works have appeared in the Serpent’s Tail in the U.K. Also, they have been translated into multiple foreign languages, including Italian, Czech, German, Japanese, Spanish, and French. Author Smith divides his time between his homes in Cape Town and Thailand. Numerous Critics all over the world have praised Smith’s work and his writing style. He has been praised for writing with brutal beauty. He is regarded as the master of suspense and coolly described nightmare. Other critics have said that Smith has an extraordinary ability to grab the readers and plunge them into the nightmare visions depicted in his stories. Several reviewers have said that he portrays a world which has also all redemption hopes and where things are not at all certain.

Author Smith says that he started writing for the first time when he was ten years old. It was a short crime novel. He was extremely passionate about writing crime fiction while he was growing. But, the apartheid situation in South Africa gave him the fear that his crime fiction work might go unnoticed and declared irrelevant. So, Smith put his desire of becoming a crime writer on hold and shifted his focus towards writing scripts for TV and films. And by the time he finished writing his first book, crime had started gaining relevance in his country. As a writer, Smith always tries to find characters and stories that stimulate, excite, and move him as well as the readers. He always looks to find material that tends to increase his passion for writing. Smith describes his books as dark crime novels revolving around messed-up people, who like to mess up all the time.

When Smith sold his first book to a major publisher in America, it was the proudest moment of his career. He welcomes and appreciates good and bad criticism of his work. As long as the criticism keeps coming, Smith is satisfied that his work is being read with sincerity. The path of becoming a published author was quite a tough one for Smith. He sent out numerous emails and query letters to agents in America after finishing the writing part of his debut novel. But, no one showed any interest. After several months, Alice Martell asked for a copy of his book and finished reading it quickly. Inspired by his excellent writing skills, she agreed to represent him and also helped him acquire a two-book contract with Macmillan.

A popular book series written by author Roger Smith is known as the Cape Town series. It is comprised of two books in total, released between 2009 and 2010. The central characters depicted in this series include Jack Burn, Benny MOngrel, Rudi Barnard, Disaster Zondi, Roxy Palmer, Godwyn, Joe, Disco, Piper, Billy Afrika, etc. Smith has set each book’s plot in Cape Town, South Africa. The debut book of this series is entitled ‘Mixed Blood’. It was published in 2009 by the Henry Holt & Co. publication. This novel revolves around the life of an American fugitive, who takes refuge in Cape Town as he is running for the safety of his life. Initially, Jack Burn is introduced as a bank robber. After a heist in America that leaves a cop dead and $3 million disappear, he is on the run and takes shelter in Cape Town. Jack looks forward to building a new life for his young son and pregnant wife. But, a shocking gangland assault takes place in his suburban neighborhood that victimizes Jack Burn’s family and changes everything in his life.

Another important character mentioned in this book is Benny Mongrel. He is an ex-con and works as a night watchman in the building site near Jack’s home. Benny is also desperate to get rid of his past. Having connections with Cape Town’s ghetto gangs, Benny is aware of the people who raided Jack Burn’s house and what they did to his wife and son. But, he decides to keep his mouth shut to save himself from the gangs. Because of Jack’s actions on the night of the tragic event, Benny and Jack get trapped in a game of cat and mouse. They find themselves standing against Rudi Barnard, a corrupt cop having a liking for killing, and Disaster Zondi, a Zulu detective looking to settle a past score. As soon as the cop and the detective come to know about the bank heist and the missing millions, they get involved in the with Jack and Benny in a web of vengeance and murder that takes them to an unforgettable climax.

The second book of this series is entitled ‘Wake Up Dead’. It was also published by Henry Holt & Co in 2010. The book opens by introducing Roxy Palmer as a former model from America and the wife of a gunrunner named Joe. They live in Cape Town. On a steaming hot night in the city, the couple is carjacked and Joe is left with some serious injuries, causing too much blood loss from his body. At such a tragic moment, Roxy Palmer makes a split-second decision that goes on to change her life forever. The gang members who ran away with Joe’s convertible, Godwyn and Disco, set themselves on the trail of Roxy. She is also on the radar of a former police officer turned mercenary named Billy Africa as Joe is indebted to him. All three of them are being chased by a psychopath named Piper, who is determined to get back the love of Disco. The lives of all four of them collide in an unexpected manner, leaving Roxy caught up in a web of escalating violence.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Roger Smith / James Rayburn

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