book cover of The Peace Garden

The Peace Garden

A novel by

A powerful coming of age journey set against the backdrop of a nation struggling to come to terms with its troubled past.

Twelve year old Natalie Porter, a keen amateur detective, goes to visit her grandmother in Newcastle for the summer holidays and is soon drawn into a mystery surrounding the theft of several plants in the neighbourhood shortly before the annual garden competition. Natalie soon befriends the chief suspect, a mysterious South African political exile, Gladwin, and his son Thabo as she seeks to solve the crime of the missing plants.

A few years later, Natalie, now a young adult, again crosses paths with Gladwin and learns of his prior involvement in the Soweto Riots and, subsequently, the explosive struggle for liberation from the oppressive apartheid government. Gladwin returns to South Africa to make peace with his past but is unwittingly drawn back into the shadowy world of international terrorism.

Meanwhile Natalie has begun to fall in love with Thabo while working with him on a community peace garden project, but the fledgling romance is threatened as Natalie begins to suspect Thabo of being involved in a political conspiracy, and must once again apply her sleuthing skills to get to the truth before it's too late.

With echoes of Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird', Markus Zusak's 'The Book Thief' and Andre Brink's 'A Dry White Season', The Peace Garden is a literary suspense thriller doused in political intrigue, racial tension, murder, international terrorism and ... gardening. If you like your thrillers intelligent, then you won't be able to put this novel down until the last breathtaking page.

Praise for The Peace Garden

"Definitely not your run-of-the-mill romantic thriller. What started off as an investigation into missing plant theft in suburban Newcastle turns into an international thriller set against the background of post-apartheid South Africa and the birth of the internet. A triumph. I couldn't put it down."
Abidemi Sanusi, Commonwealth Writers' Prize nominee for Eyo

"A great story, with a compulsively page-turning conclusion, which also gives the reader an inside look at many of the conflicting issues of racial prejudice in its most notorious institutional expression - apartheid South Africa."
Dr Steve Pillinger, linguist, Wycliffe, Southern Africa.

"A cleverly-plotted novel with nice comic touches."
RS Downie, New York Times bestselling author of the Ruso Medicus novels.

"A tense, funny, fascinating and moving book."
Gillian D'Achada, Sanlam Award-winning author of Sharkey's Son

"You won't find stereotypes or cardboard cut-outs in this story. Each character is fully-drawn and has depth and compassion. The Peace Garden is for an intelligent reader: a cross between a coming-of-age story and a crime thriller, the story is complex and will make you think."
Julie Compton, author of Tell No Lies

Genre: Mystery

Visitors also looked at these books

Used availability for Fiona Veitch Smith's The Peace Garden

About Fantastic Fiction       Information for Authors