Book extract: ‘Leaving Word’, a sassy literary mystery
Was Buddy murdered? Did he commit suicide? Maybe he just died. Maybe life doesn’t always have a plot
Steven Boykey Sidley’s Leaving Word (MF Books Joburg, R240) is a literary mystery in which the death of Buddy Rappaport, CEO of a major publishing company, sets off an occasionally comic, occasionally tragic and intellectually wide-ranging search for plot, meaning, reason and motive.
Heroine and protagonist Joelle Jesson, the 40-year-old senior editor of the publishing house, although having been fired by the CEO only hours before his death, is determined to find out what happened. She is smart, confused, sexy, sassy, lonely, ambitious and determined – an explosive and memorable character on the page. Was Buddy murdered? Did he commit suicide? And who was involved?
The detective and aspirant author who has just sent Joelle a manuscript, the plot of which is eerily similar to the circumstances of Buddy’s death? The dark and inscrutable brother of the CEO, painting and drawing nudes in his nondescript flat? Or the sad and deluded loner trying and failing to sell his illiterate scribblings to anyone who will listen? Or maybe Buddy just died. Maybe life doesn’t always have a plot. ..