‘An international crime adventure with a South African twist; a stylistic cross between Ian Fleming’s James Bond and Deon Meyer’s more local crime scene: fast-paced, high-flying, gritty, glamorous and violent.’ – Alex Smith
Who can stop a maniacal Russian and his private army? Surely not a handful of Cape Town gangsters and an investment banker/ex-scuba diving instructor. Unemployed Economics graduate Leon Jacobs rescues Sophia Popova, a beautiful but troubled Russian heiress, during a high-risk scuba dive at one of the deep dive-sites of the Red Sea. Subsequently, he joins Sophia’s father’s corrupt investment bank in London. The love-sick and gullible Leon soon starts drowning in the international syndicated crime world of Bogdan Popov, famous for the innovative ways he gets rid of his competitors. Meanwhile, after a series of shocking events disrupt the solitude of ex-gangster Franklin Benjamin’s existence in a small fishing village off the West Coast of South Africa, he has to make the impossible decision: to rise up from his hibernation and mobilise his gang. Will Leon escape with his life from the global-reaching claws of Popov? And where will Sophia find the courage and strength to slay the inner demons ruling her existence? Submerged is an international thriller traversing the buzzing financial hub of London, the beautiful City of Cape Town with its adjacent Cape Flats ganglands, the pirate-infested waters off the horn of Africa, and the rhino-slaughter fields of South Africa. About the Author: Louis Wiid resides in Pretoria and Sandton, South Africa with his wife and a bunch of adopted dogs. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant (SA) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and therefore, working as a bank risk specialist and auditor, has an in-depth knowledge of the international financial scene and shenanigans. His talent to tell a good story was unearthed when he completed the ‘Write a Novel Course’ and more recently the ‘Advanced Write a Novel Course’ with SA Writers College (both with distinction). Submerged is his first novel.
For me the cover was very intriguing. It certainly draws the person in and makes them curious about what the book could be about. The title is aptly named as a metaphor for what happens to both the characters and the reader. You become submerged in the story.
I liked the book because it was very in your face - realistic. Although some people might feel that the circumstances might seem "out there" - read enough about real gangsters and the way their lives work and you will quickly realize that the circumstances are highly realistic. I like that Wiid has taken a formidable gangster and made him a very conflicting character - I didn't know whether I wanted to hate him or love him and I think most gangsters are like. Something that I also noticed is that all characters are true 'people' in that they are not all good or all bad - in fact they are nicely balanced out, only slightly leaning either way to define whether they are a protagonist or antagonist.
I didn't feel like the book should have been split into Part one and Part two. I feel like it should be just one full book with perhaps a notation pointing out the lapse in time. I also didn't like some of the part where the story felt a bit rushed, particularly when it comes to Leon, Sophia and Franklin. I also felt that Franklin needed much more attention and development as a character as he plays quite a crucial role in the story.
Overall I thought it was a really good story and would recommend it to any crime enthusiast.