An isolated farm in rural post-apartheid South Africa is the scene of a suspicious death that fractures a tense community.
De Wildt, South Africa.
Ouma is a white doctor running her own farm in the rural backwaters. Over eighty years old, she has seen apartheid rise and fall, but treats everyone - man and woman, black and white - with the same fierce respect and hard-won wisdom.
Until the day she is found drowned in the dam on her own land.
At first, only her granddaughter suspects anything other than an accident. But as the shockwaves spread, the fractures follow - exposing family, police, and a whole community on the edge of a harsh world - that needs only a push to fall into savagery.
The Savage Hour is an excellent, thoughtful book, written in a lyrical and intensely visual manner which no doubt owes something to Proctor's earlier career as a film-maker . . . This is not a crime novel, though the progress of the investigation moves the plot along, coming to a satisfying conclusion. It is a profound and deeply moving exploration of relationships, within and outside families, on and off the farm. The characters are unforgettable . . . Proctor explores them with a deft touch, presenting them as flawed but human. The Savage Hour is a superb novel that offers a fascinating picture of contemporary South Africa and a profound exploration of the human condition. I doubt that this year will bring along much to top it. - Margaret von Klemperer
This is epic storytelling. Tender and moving, Rhumba proves Elaine Proctor to be a great novelist - Mike Leigh, on Rhumba
[A] compelling piece of fiction, complete with a succession of terrific set-pieces and a touching plot . . . thrilling - Daily Mail, on Rhumba
Well-paced and beautifully written, this book is outstanding and will linger in your memory - Red Magazine, on Rhumba
Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She has made several films, including On The Wire and Friends and published three novels, Rhumba, The Savage Hour and The Love Factory. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen's Park, London.