‘Here’s my MTW review of Gavin Mills‘ adrenaline-rush of a thriller: Dup Departs…’
‘If you like thrillers involving gangsters, guns, drugs, corruption and action
this book is for you…’
These are comments on Dup Departs by two great writers for Mystery Thriller Week and I am blown away.
I am so glad people like Dup – because a lot of Dup is me, or was me …or something like that. But that’s not the point. Dup is like most anybody, just doing his best to lead an uncomplicated life and provide for his family. And things are not easy… There comes that time when one starts thinking whether he keeps pressing on or finds other cheese (sorry – had to borrow). Haven’t we all gone through that at some time? Is our life worth anything, are we doing what we love, …or are we missing out on life?
Opportunities present themselves and often we have to make choices. And isn’t it almost always the case that the sweetest ones, the easiest ones carry the most baggage. How much baggage would you be prepared to accept to turn your life around. I’m not talking an upgrade. I am talking turning a flip flop. Don’t we all have our price. …No? I don’t know. If a man came up to me and offered me a million for my wife for a night. I like to believe I would do the right thing, but hey… just one night…?
These are the questions Dup found himself entertaining – in a South Africa which had passed through the honeymoon of being the darling of the world. A South Africa with simmering undercurrents – with some enjoying the fruits of the labours of others and some being sidelined in the trenches of the playing fields. And like it or not, for Dup, the life of privilege was gone. Hard to adapt when you’ve never had to fight…
In his world unemployment is rife, corruption is rife, the country is trying to find itself as a nation, foreigners are streaming over the borders, poverty is at epidemic proportions …an incubation space for the full spectrum of desperation and crime. And normal people like him are being forced into places they don’t like and wouldn’t dream of if it wasn’t that they have few other options to get by.
A man must have some honour, you might say. There is right and wrong. Morally, the law and justice. Is there really? …You have to draw the line. But where?
Do corporates feel guilty for squeezing people? Do we feel bad going to work each day, feeding the beast of ‘progress’? Do we feel bad turning the wheels of business which pay monstrous bonuses at the top and drives into retrenchment and unemployment at the bottom? Do we feel bad eating meat, stimulating the torture, abuse and slaughter of livestock? Of course not. There’s no blood and no guns. Only paperwork and computers. We go about our lives, sucking out what we can get because that is what we must do. But it is the machine and the beast that we feed nonetheless.
So are we really that different to those that wear their misdeeds on their sleeves? …The hardened criminal who doesn’t care, maybe not. But those that meander into dark places, who can be the judge. It is often in the seedy underworld where the quick, the easy and the dangerous fixes are found. And it is into these places that some venture willingly and many, many feel is their only option.
How far would I personally go and what price would I pay if really up against the wall? I don’t know. It has never arisen. But for Dup it has. Can we expect happy endings? That’s a difficult question. I suppose conscience is in the mix there somewhere, but if I was to be brutally honest, running somewhere in my mind the big players would more than likely still be the prize and the price. And in my book, Dup faces some of these questions head-on…