At its heart, Harding’s is a vintage crime story. His narrative is of the tortuous and flawed investigation and trial, which only reached its close in May this year. It is an extraordinary tale in its own right. Harding introduces us to a kaleidoscopic cast of characters: defence lawyers, prosecutors, magistrates, police, activists and farmers. They are neither caricatures nor archetypes. They are all confronting the same dilemmas shared by people everywhere, every day over family, career, ambition, loyalty and more — only in South Africa they take place against a backdrop of a poisoned history, entrenched racism, populist politics and murderous crime.