We Are Not Such Things: Murder. Justice. The Search for Truth.

Justine van der Leun

A ‘MAKING A MURDERER’ set in South Africa – a gripping true-crime story of murder and the justice system in the shadow of apartheid

In 1993 a young white American activist called Amy Biehl was brutally murdered by a group of men in a township near Cape Town. A few years later, two of the convicted murderers were working with Amy’s parents at a charity set up in her memory.

After the horrors of apartheid, hope and reconciliation had triumphed.

It’s an inspiring story. But is it just that – a story?

‘Your next true-crime obsession’ Vogue

A Truman Capote-style detective story’ Financial Times

Gripping, explosive . . . crafts a close sense of place that rivals the work of Katherine Boo’ New York Times

Reviews of We Are Not Such Things: Murder. Justice. The Search for Truth.

    • ‘Gripping, explosive . . . crafts a close sense of place that rivals the work of Katherine Boo’ New York Times
    • ‘Beautifully written and carefully observed … a Truman Capote-style detective story in which Van der Leun rummages for clues through the detritus of modern South Africa’ Financial Times
    • ‘A total page-turner, a gripping Serial-like true-crime story’ Vogue
    • ‘Deeply researched and thought-provoking . . . an engaging take on a murder that might have derailed democracy’ Economist
    • ‘Unforgettable. A gripping narrative that examines the messiness of truth, the illusory nature of reconciliation, the all too often false promise of justice’ Boston Globe
    • ‘Extraordinary. A dense and nuanced portrait of a country whose confounding, convoluted past is never quite history’ Entertainment Weekly
    • ‘Moving . . . necessary . . . A story of frustrated expectations, broken dreams, endemic greed and corruption, but also indomitable human spirit’ Minneapolis Star Tribune
    • ‘A murder story told with the dramatic tension of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood and the precision of the very best non-fiction reporting. Each page bursts with fresh insights’ Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy
    • ‘Fascinating. Shatters convenient narratives about the end of apartheid and the nature of justice, and takes readers on a headlong chase for deeper truths’ Jill Leovy, author of Ghettoside
    • ‘A book I kept returning to. Van der Leun has a compassionate but admirably clear eye’ Michela Wrong, Spectator Books of the Year