Review: Capture, by Roger Smith

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo.

Serpent’s Tail, 2012. Kindle edition. 1982 KB. eISBN: 978-1-84765-839-5. ASIN: B0094KB6E6.

Vernon Saul is a former cop whose days in the force ended when he got two bullets in a leg that left him crippled. He now works for Sniper Security as a patrolman. One day he is watching two white men smoking a joint on the beach in front of a large house. A four-year-old girl comes out of the house and tries to get the attention of her father. He ignores her. She tries by herself to rescue her toy boat that was floating on the sea. She loses her balance and falls into the water. The strong tide prevents her from staying afloat. Vernon is about to warn the two men when he, suddenly, decides to wait a while.

Nick Exley is a kind of a computer whiz. He has designed a motion-capture software that is selling well to special effects firms and computer game developers. He has recently settled in Cape Town with his wife Caroline and her daughter Sunny. They celebrate today the birthday party of Sunny. While Nick is smoking a joint on the beach with an Aussie friend, Caroline has sent her daughter to fetch her sailboat to have a moment of intimacy with her Serbian lover.

When Vernon finally decides to act it’s too late and nothing can be done to save the life of Sunny. However Nick will feel extremely grateful and will always be indebted to Vernon.

Dawn Cupido is a single mother who is willing to protect her daughter Brittany from the danger of sexual assault that she herself suffered during her childhood. Social services took away her daughter once because of her meth habit. However she was able to recover her daughter, got a job as a stripper and gave up her addiction, with the help of Vernon.

Vernon doesn’t know why he acts this way. He just follows his intuition. But he is aware that everything he does will be useful at some point. He likes to play God.

And neither Nick, nor Dawn can they figure out the nightmare that is waiting them.

Capture is a nicely crafted psychological thriller. The story is powerful although extremely strong and realistic. Some scenes of explicit sex and other violent episodes may offend some sensibilities. But overall I found it an exceptional reading. The three main characters, particularly Dawn Cupido, will not be easily forgotten. This is Roger Smith at his very best. A master who knows very well how to create suspense and intrigue.

My rating: 5/5.

Capture has been reviewed by Mack at AfricaScreams, Peter at Detectives Beyond Borders, Robin Jarossi at Shots Crime & Thriller Ezine, Nerd of Noir at Spinetingler magazine, M. M. at Crime Squad,

Roger Smith website

Serpent’s Tail 

Crime Beat: A quiet chat with Roger Smith


Captura, de Roger Smith

Vernon Saúl es un ex policía, cuyos días en la fuerza se acabaron cuando recibió dos balazos en una pierna que lo dejaron lisiado. En la actualidad trabaja para Sniper Seguridad como guardia de seguridad. Un día está mirando a dos hombres blancos fumando un porro en la playa en frente de una casa grande. Una niña de cuatro años de edad, sale de la casa y trata de llamar la atención de su padre. Éste la ignora. La niña intenta por ella misma sacar su barco de juguete del océano. Pierde el equilibrio y cae al agua. La fuerte marea le impide mantenerse a flote. Vernon intenta avisar a los dos hombres cuando, de repente, decide esperar un rato.

Nick Exley es una especie de genio de los ordenadores. Ha diseñado un software para capturar movimiento que se está vendiendo bien a empresas de efectos especiales y a desarrolladores de juegos de ordenador. Se ha establecido recientemente en Ciudad del Cabo con su esposa Caroline y su hija Sunny. Hoy celebran la fiesta de cumpleaños de Sunny. Mientras que Nick está fumando un porro en la playa con un amigo australiano, Caroline ha enviado a su hija a buscar su velero de juguete para tener un momento de intimidad con su amante serbio.

Cuando Vernon finalmente se decide a actuar ya es demasiado tarde y nada se puede hacer por salvar la vida de Sunny. Pero Nick se sentirá muy agradecido y siempre estará en deuda con Vernon.

Dawn Cupido es una madre soltera que está dispuesta a proteger a su hija Brittany del peligro de agresión sexual que ella misma sufrió durante su infancia. Los servicios sociales se llevaron a su hija una vez debido a su addición a las metanfetaminas. Sin embargo, ella fue capaz de recuperar a su hija, consiguió un trabajo como stripper y abandonó su adicción, con la ayuda de Vernon.

Vernon no sabe por qué actúa de esta manera. El se limita a seguir su intuición. Pero es consciente de que todo lo que hace le será útil en algún momento. Le gusta jugar a ser Dios.

Y ni Nick, ni Dawn pueden imaginar la pesadilla que les está esperando.

Captura es un thriller psicológico muy bien elaborado. La historia es poderosa aunque extremadamente fuerte y realista. Algunas escenas de sexo explícito y otros episodios violentos, puede ofender a algunas sensibilidades. Pero en general me pareció una lectura excepcional. Los tres personajes principales, en particular Dawn Cupido, no serán fácilmente olvidados. Este es Roger Smith en uno de sus mejores momentos. Todo un maestro que sabe muy bien cómo crear suspense e intriga.

Mi valoración: 5/5.

10 thoughts on “Review: Capture, by Roger Smith”

  1. José Ignacio – One of the things I think Smith does very well is craft memorable characters. They are rounded characters, too, which makes them all the more compelling. I think he’s done that in this novel too and I’m glad you enjoyed it. Violence, yes, but I think those characters carry the novel quite well.

    1. You are quite right to point out that Roger Smith creates some memorable characters, Margot. Violence and sex are perfectly integrated into the story. They do play a role as well. I forgot to add that it offers an excellent example of the first writing rule: Show, don’t tell..

  2. I read one of Smith’s earlier books late last year – absolutely blew my socks off. I have this one on Kindle, but I’m kind of putting off reading in and savouring the anticipation of it – which is part of the enjoyment – if that makes any sense? Cos once it’s gone it’s gone.
    Smith as well as Deon Meyer and Mike Nicol are pretty awesome.

    1. Thanks for your visit, Col. I have read his books out of order. I don’t think it affects to the enjoyment of the reader. But of course you can choose in which order you want to read them. So much the better if that will increase your fun.

  3. Capture is a superb read and Smith a superb author. Vernon Saul, as despicable as he is, is a rounded character with foibles and fears. In fact all the characters are rounded, even though, ultimately, none of them are people we would particularly want to spend time with in real life. That’s one of Smith’s skills – creating sympathy for characters who in the hands of lesser writers would make you want to stop reading.

  4. Martin, absolutely. I think it was Mack Lundy who noted that Capture is character driven.I can’t agree more. Thanks for your visit.

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