I have written a great deal about prison psychologist Yudel Gordon, who is the central character in all my thrillers. He has been joined in recent books by Abigail Bukula of the Department of Justice. Despite himself, Yudel is in awe of attractive women. He has great confidence in his own abilities, but he is also insecure as a person. His relationship with Rosa, his wife, is contented, but he yields to her in almost everything, except those matters that are really important to him. Chief among these is his work.
The first Yudel Gordon thrillers were developed in Apartheid days and new stories have been emerging ever since. I wanted to create a hero who was opposed to the system, but employed in it. In those days many white people were in that difficult position.
I chose not to make him a police officer because so often the police seemed to have the purpose of supporting the Apartheid structure. His personality, as it grew in my mind, was of a brilliant, but eccentric student of criminal behaviour who hated the system, but could not avoid being part of it. I made him a prison psychologist and based him on character traits of three different psychologists I knew. Two of the three were Jewish and, although I am not, I made him Jewish too, thence the name Yudel.
Since then the Yudel Gordon stories have followed the developments within the country. An aspect of A LONELY PLACE TO DIE is the attack on a Roman Catholic mission where all races are treated equally. It was followed by DIVIDE THE NIGHT, a story inspired by real events in which a convenience store owner kills a series of young people who may have been trying to rob him. CLOSED CIRCLE likewise was inspired by the actual assassinations of a number of Apartheid’s opponents.
The first time Yudel appears after the new democratic order is installed is in THE OCTOBER KILLINGS. At the core of the story is a good man who fought for an evil system and an evil man who fought for a good system. For the first time Abigail Bukula from the Department of Justice appears.
Other Yudel Gordon stories have followed. THOSE WHO LOVE NIGHT takes place against the horrors of the Mugabe dictatorship in Zimbabwe, while THE TOP Prisoner of C-MAX introduces Beloved Childe for the first time.
DELUGE followed. This is the one I personally prefer to all the others. Like the other Yudel Gordon stories, it too is a thriller. Its background contrasts the problems that faced Yudel in the past with a very severe challenge facing him a quarter of a century later.
Wessel Ebersohn’s Yudel Gordon thrillers:
|Book 1 – A Lonely Place To Die (1979)||synopsis here||get the e-book here|
|Book 2 – Divide The Night (1981)||synopsis here||get the e-book here|
|Book 3 – Closed Circle, Gollancz (1992)||synopsis here||e-book coming soon|
|Book 4 – The October Killings (2009)||synopsis here||e-book coming soon|
|Book 5 – Those Who Love Night (2010)||synopsis here||e-book coming soon|
|Book 6 – The Top Prisoner of C-Max (2012)||synopsis here||e-book coming soon|
|Book 7 – Deluge (2022)||synopsis here||get the e-book here|
Forthcoming Yudel Gordon thrillers:
Book 8 – The Robben Island list
Book 9 – African Aftermath