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Man Down


  • Roger Smith


  • Hard-Boiled
  • Suspense
  • Noir
A guilty person is always his own hangman.

It's ten years since businessman John Turner, his college professor wife and infant daughter fled violence-torn South Africa for a new life in Tucson, Arizona. A life that seems prosperous and peaceful until a home invasion plunges them into an orgy of bloodshed. As three masked gunmen terrorize the Turners, exposing the fault lines in a marriage built on a foundation of lies, John is forced to confront the truth about his complicity in an unspeakably brutal crime in Johannesburg a decade ago and ask himself a question: is it payback time?

Man Down is both a harrowingly propulsive thriller and a meditation on moral ambiguity and the roles choice and chance play in the shaping of a life.

Praise for Man Down

"Smith, without apology, confronts the 'banality of evil' dear to Hannah Arendt. He is a novelist-gunslinger unafraid to show the path to disaster." Marianne Magazine

"Man Down, a thriller about violence and guilt, takes you by the throat like a cat takes a rat, and the reader will emerge with a renewed fascination with Smith's kamikaze side." Libération

"Clever, dark and suspenseful." Huffington Post

"An incredible thriller. Incredibly well constructed and incredibly brutal." Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland)
"Man Down has both Shakespearean and Hitchcockian influences and yet has this inimitable fearlessness that only Roger Smith can muster. Read it if you dare." Dead End Follies

"This very dark novel, with its expertly constructed plot and apocalyptic climax, uses extreme violence to portray a society where the boundaries between good and evil no longer exist." Nord-Pas-de-Calais Gazette

"Beautifully built, exciting--a really good thriller that hits hard. Very hard." Nyctalopes

"Very well written, the timelines are beautifully handled, and Smith can elicit suspense like few other thriller writers. Genuinely gut-wrenching." The Gamblers Blog

"Sensitive souls should steer clear, but this very dark thriller hits the mark." Action-Suspense Blog

"Roger Smith is not holding back: violence engulfs every page, breaking bones and families. The pungent odor of meth can't hide the stink of blood and fear. Quentin Tarantino watch out!" Jeune Afrique

"Excellent. In this book Roger Smith has reached the pinnacle of Machiavellian manipulation and cruelty and one wonders how he'll ever be able to invent characters more twisted and tormented than these." Unwalkers

Praise for Roger Smith

"Smith writes with brutal beauty." The Washington Post

"The master of the coolly-described nightmare." Der Spiegel

"Smith's writing is astonishing." The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"A master of suspense." The Sunday Times

"The shooting star of the crime scene." Radio Europe

"Smith has a unique ability to grab readers and plunge them headlong into his nightmare visions." The Times

"The crime genre's greatest tragedian." Spinetingler Magazine

"Smith captures a world where nothing is certain, least of all the rules of coexistence." Arte

"A leader in dark, relentless fiction." Marianne Magazine

"Smith writes coolly and with grace about unspeakable horror." The Argus

"He portrays a world that has lost all hope of redemption." Le Monde

"Nobody can peel back the layers of damaged people and a broken society so poetically."

Roger Smith's novels are published in nine languages and two are in development as movies in the U.S. He has won the German Crime Fiction Award and been nominated for France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière.
He also writes espionage as James Rayburn and horror as Max Wilde.