Isa Konrad’s Die Soenoffer “The sacrificial kiss/The kiss of sacrifice”, Lapa, 2011 is the best thriller I’ve read in any language in some time, and if you can even remotely read Afrikaans, I urge you to get your hands on a copy.The subtitle, “The story of a nine-year-old serial killer” is enough to make anyone sit up and take notice. The world expects children to be innocent, pure, absolutely incapable of killing. Yet you might remember the case of Eric Smith, who murdered four-year-old Derrick Robie in New York at the age of 13 in 1993. Then there were Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, who murdered two-year-old James Bulger in Liverpool when they were both just ten years old, also in 1993. Then of course there was Columbine. There was Red Lake, there was Jonesboro, there was Springfield, Oregon. And those are just some of the cases in the English-speaking world where more than a handful lost their lives. Children do kill.But what drives children to commit murder, and, a nine-year-old serial killer? Isn’t that a bit far-fetched, even for a work of fiction? As it turns out, not at all. If you turn to the bibliography, you’ll see the author consulted Gitta Sereny’s The Case of Mary Bell 1972 as well as Cries Unheard: The Story of Mary Bell.Mary Bell born 1957, was convicted of manslaughter for strangling to death a four-year-old boy in a derelict house in 1968. Later that year, accompanied by Norma Joyce Bell aged 13, no relation, she strangled a three-year-old boy, returning to the scene to mutilate his body with a razor.
André Beukes is an EU Management Consultant to international companies doing business in Europe. He provides clients with practical business support that makes a real difference doing business in the EU. “Put simply, I am here to help you meet your challenges. I believe in the importance of doing things correctly, meaning risks are reduced and problems are avoided.”