Writing a thriller is different to writing any other kind of novel. The story’s structure is everything. Scenes have to follow each other logically and they have to draw the reader in so that he or she simply cannot put the book down. The reader simply must know what is going to happen next. I was bearing all this in mind when I wrote my new Yudel Gordon thriller, DELUGE. I believe I have found a really compelling story line, one that meets these requirements.
Yudel Gordon has been around a long time and he is no longer a young man, but police officers with whom he had worked in the past ask him to revive a suspect they have beaten so badly that he is unconscious. One of the officers went too far in trying to get the truth out of the suspect who had allegedly planted a bomb in a school hostel.
The bomb is due to explode in a few hours. Yudel agrees to revive him, but only if he and associate, Abigail Bukula, are allowed to try to get the truth out of the suspect. The case brings back memories of another one thirty years earlier when in that case too the subject was beaten by the police of the old government in an almost the identical way.
The one big town in the Kalahari Desert was a quiet place. But in 1994 because the first democratic election was taking place and because the mighty river that flows by the town was coming down in flood it had stopped being a quiet place. Two deluges were facing the town, one political and the other caused by the flooding river.
Adding to the effect of the political deluge was the mob killing of a police officer in the township and the determination of Judge Meyer to find the entire mob guilty of murder for which the sentence is death. Yudel Gordon, in town on prisons business, and Colonel Kobus Malan, the town’s most senior police officer, find themselves struggling to deal with this seemingly impossible situation and a murderer that here too has been too badly beaten by an officer who cannot contain his anger.