Saturday, May 30, 2009

Library News

Prince Albert Public Library
This book I recommend…

Chris Marneweck

Shepherds & Butchers

The story:
Leon Labuschagne’s livelihood depends on death. At 19, he is a Death Row warder at Maximum Security Prison in Pretoria: a shepherd who cares for the condemned – and a butcher who escorts them to the gallows. In the summer of 1987, after 32 men were hanged in two weeks (all real cases), Leon loses control, with tragic results. And now he’s the one facing the death penalty (fiction). Chasing a defence, his advocate trawls the deepest recesses of life in the Pot – the twilight world of Death Row – in order to determine the effect of multiple executions on his young client.

Why I recommend this book:
Because it’s a gripping courtroom drama steeped in the factual. It’s a part of South African history that most would prefer to forget… or not know about altogether.

Shepherds & Butchers portrays legal execution in unprecedented detail, revealing its devastating impact on all those involved. At the same time, it exposes the callous violence on the other side of the noose, where murderers reign.

It should be read, with an open mind, by anyone who calls for the return of the death penalty.

Other books by the same author:
This is Chris Marneweck’s first novel.

Barbara Castle-Farmer

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