skip to main content



When the South African Police Service receive a panicked call for help from the wayward daughter of a former Apartheid-era politician, they discover only her body but, within it, a message which will take Colonel Vaughn de Vries and Don February of the Special Crimes Unit on a journey through their country - and their country's past - to decipher and resolve.

As organised crime grips South Africa, new players arrive in Cape Town, determined to exploit the poor and hopeless, promising redemption. While other government agencies snap impotently at the small fish, De Vries, linked by a personal connection, resolves to follow this trail to its source and take it down from the top. As decades old webs of corruption and influence are exposed, and the boundaries of morality blur, his decisions begin to impact on his friends, colleagues and family.

The History of Blood by Paul Mendelson
is published by Constable


Even after the release of Nelson Mandela and the promise of free elections, extremist groups terrorized South Africa, bombing churches, opening fire in bars and restaurants. Nearly twenty-five years ago, as a young Captain, Vaughn de Vries finds himself in pursuit of the suspects of a fatal bombing in his precinct, under the command of one of the most feared white police officers of the time: Major Kobus Nel. Out of radio communication and without clear evidence, the SAPS barge into a township and set off a chain of events which will resonate for a quarter of a century.

In Cape Town in 2015, the heiress of an Apartheid-era industrialist is found murdered, her body posed to suggest a racial hate crime. But, as Colonel Vaughn De Vries investigates, possible motives for her death abound: a highly controversial art exhibition, her sexual preferences, her relationship - as yet unknown by the press - with the son of one of the heroes of The Struggle.

And, moving South down through the country, North to South, five men are murdered, each with a connection to a point in history De Vries would sooner forget. When the link is made, De Vries must re-live the traumatic event to uncover the perpetrator. Old wounds, hidden in history, are exposed, and a mysterious killer approaches, whom no one seems able to stop.

The Serpentine Road by Paul Mendelson
is published by Constable


Seven years ago, in Cape Town, South Africa, three schoolboys are abducted in broad daylight on consecutive days. They are never heard of again.
Now, a new case for Colonel Vaughn DeVries at the Serious Crimes Unit casts a light on the original enquiry; for him, a personal failure which has haunted and changed him.
DeVries himself is under investigation, the future of his department in doubt. A former British government agent provides him with unobtainable intelligence, but what price will he have to pay?
Struggling in a mire of departmental and racial rivalry, DeVries seeks the whole truth, and unravels a complex history of abuse, deception and murder. Encountering friends, colleagues and enemies, DeVries realises he doesn’t know anymore, who is which.

Set against the richly described backdrop of Cape Town, this chilling psychological thriller reveals it’s secrets one by one, each more shocking than the last.

The First Rule of Survival by Paul Mendelson
is published by Constable