Sleeper's Wake, By Alistair Morgan

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The Independent Culture

After surviving a car crash in which his wife and five-year old daughter are killed , Durban-based journalist, John Wraith, travels to the coastal region of Nature's Valley to recuperate. Here he meets another family traumatised by loss, including a devout bereaved father and damaged teenage girl, Jackie.

As Wraith grieves, he starts to reveal some less than pleasant truths about his marriage. Reminiscent of the work of fellow South Africans JM Coetzee and Damon Galgut, Alistair Morgan's ordered prose brims with an angry intensity.

When Wraith finds himself driven to a final crazed act - one that "blocks the drain like waste" - we are not surprised. A confident debut, this is a novel that conceals a sliver of misogynistic cunning at its heart.