New from Bridget Pitt: The Unseen Leopard (Plus: Excerpt)
Sam Campbell is barely surviving, focusing all her energy on raising her sister Melissa’s son, Khaya. Melissa died in a car accident near their family farm, Cedar Hills, in the Baviaanskloof area. Sam hasn’t forgiven Khaya’s father, Dylan, for leaving her to cope with Khaya to follow up his vague claims about searching for Melissa’s murderer. But now the future of Cedar Hills and the farms in the area are in question after a successful land claim by the family of Sam’s one time childhood friend. There are advocates for urban development, game reserves or conservation. Whether she wants to or not, Sam will have to face her past.
At the same time James McIntyre is writing his confession about his role in Melissa’s death. They met when, as an American biochemical researcher carrying out a follow up study of powdered milk formula for babies for a company called NuGrowth, he visits the clinic where Melissa is working. When James sees Samantha, he knows that he must win her heart at all costs.
From The Unseen Leopard, Chapter 1:
ON the eve of her fortieth birthday, she has the dream. Again, she is standing outside the wrecked car on the mountainside, banging on the window, trying to break in. And inside, Melissa dies, as she always does, her hair fanned across her face like a shroud.
She beats against the window in a futile tattoo, as the car fills with water, and Khaya floats up through its darkness until he is pressed against the glass, his mouth gaping red beneath dead white eyes. Wake up, she screams to herself, wake up before she dies, wake up wake up wake up, until the scream becomes a real scream, more of a groan, in the dark room. And she is awake.
And Melissa is dead.
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About the author
Bridget Pitt was born in Harare in 1958. She taught English in high schools on the Cape Flats until her anti-apartheid activities cost her her job. In 1987 she received a British Council Scholarship to study media at London University. Afterwards, she freelanced for various NGO’s and drew a cartoon strip for the Weekly Mail. She published her first novel, Unbroken Wing, in 1997. Two stories aimed at adults with limited literacy, a children’s story, and a short story followed. Non-fiction writing includes five Life Orientation textbooks and training manuals for Biowatch and the Human Rights Media Centre.
Pitt is currently working on a book on urban nature conservation. She also teaches art to school children in Langa. She is married to Mike Evans, an attorney, and has two daughters.