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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: 'Mixed Blood' by Roger Smith
By Milt Gross
Jul 1, 2012 - 9:32:40 PM

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Gore, murder, mayhem, and more evil stuff makes Mixed Blood a breath-taking and disgust-giving novel. Milt Gross photo
If you like gore, blood -- any part of gore, mystery, murder, mayhem, not-quite sex, and reading about cops gone bad and then gone dead, you'll love this one.

Mixed Bloodtakes place in South Africa in Cape Town, a city not unlike many seedy parts of hot, busy cities in the U.S.

There is a plot and several minor plots involving some of the somewhat seedy -- which word seems to fit this book nicely -- characters, a worn-out hooker, an overly fat and very corrupt cop who meets a very nasty and painful death at the hands of a crowd and a gasoline-inspired blaze on a hot street, a small boy who is kidnapped and is returned safely through weird circumstances, the lead character's wife who is fleeing the U.S. with her husband, and her husband, Jack Burn, the lead character.

I wouldn't call our lead character a hero but rather himself a somewhat seedy character, who also ends his questionable life in flames following a car accident in the middle of nowhere on a very open highway in a hot desert.

The story begins with tough stuff, when Burn, who has fled the U.S. following a bank robbery that left a police officer dead, finds sleazy men entering their rented house.

Burn says, hands in the air, "Okay, we don't want any trouble. We'll give you whatever you want."

"'You got that right. Where you from,' asked the man coming at Burn. He was as lanky as a basketball player.

"'We're American,' said Burn.

"The short one was laughing. 'So are we.'

"'Ja, we all Americans here. Like a big, flipping happy family, hey?'

The tall man nudged Burn with the muzzle of his gun, positioning himself behind the chair (in which Burn was sitting) to Burn's right.

"The short one pulled Susan to her feet. 'Oh, we got a mommy here.'

Burn watched as the man slid his hand under Susan's dress, grabbing at her crotch and squeezing. He saw her eyes close."

Soon after which, Burn finds a sudden way to kill the two intruders, and once again he is a criminal....since he doesn't dare report the intrusion and its outcome to the Cape Town police because of his criminal record in the U.S.

I won't continue the complicated, pain-and-fear-filled plot except to say that it ends as terrible as it begins.

There is no happy ending. There is only a feeling of, well perhaps, of having your soul somewhat smeared with all that gore when you close the book.

Published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC, New York, New York in 2009, I have no idea where you can buy it, if you want to read this tough novel. A bus passenger gave me my copy after he had read it. When I'm done with it, you may be able to find it in Brewer in Downeast Toyota's service customer waiting room. They have a leave-a-book, take-a-book bookshelf for customers who can read. Which is probably a much higher percentage than in the Cape Town tale.

Maybe a book store on online store sells it.

Author Roger Smith, according to the book jacket, " a screenwriter, director, and producer. He is at work on a second stand-alone thriller set in Cape Town, where he lives."

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2012

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