I've been seeing this book around bookstores for a week now and I cannot wait to get my hands on my very own copy!!!!
Here's a short summary of the book:
Byleveld – Dossier of a Serial Sleuth by Hanlie Retief
BY DIANE DE BEER
Only in the rarest of instances will readers not be gripped by the story of super sleuth Piet Byleveld. He is a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy who dedicated his whole life to catching bad guys. Fortunately for his fellow countrymen, he’s a bad loser and a bad marriage left him with time on his hands to concentrate on his work.
Author Hanlie Retief is someone who specialises in investigative journalism and scratching underneath the surface to find the true core of the person she’s talking to.
This is not a Jonny Steinberg kind of exposé that goes up and around corners you don’t expect.
Retief tells it like it is with a strong personal touch as she tries to give the story of this remarkable yet shy man. He’s not someone who was looking for the limelight and yet he is extremely proud of what he has achieved.
This is what Retief does best. She takes each serial killer arrest case by case and Byleveld walks you through them. What makes it so interesting is that even if you’re not fixated on crime, because his cases are all high-profile you will remember them.
It’s fascinating stuff, and to hear Byleveld give his insight on the people, their passions and why he thinks they did what they did is like discovering a secret crime world.
It might sound like a story that delivers few surprises but it does. The way Byleveld goes about solving the puzzle is a gripping story and even though he might not be someone who puts all his cards on the table, he is extremely open when talking about his work and even his private life, the influence his father – someone he regarded as his moral compass – had on his life, the disastrous marriage that fuelled some of his working life and the days of wine and roses that he is finally enjoying after a life spent in the darkest corners of the human heart.
Talk to him about the death penalty now and he’s quick to admit that he helped many on their way to their final destination, so he knows exactly what that terrible sentence means, and in general, he’s not in favour of it. But, he says, there are some people who don’t deserve to live because of their crimes.
You won’t put this book down until you’ve finished it. The book, originally written in Afrikaans and translated into English, is no literary masterpiece, but that’s not what it set out to be.
Retief was clever enough to know that what she had in Piet Byleveld was a story everyone would want to read. She’s given us exactly that. – Diane de Beer