Maybe it was an error for crime reporter Maggie Cloete to ignore the call from the AIDS worker, before someone put four bullets in his chest. It is post-apartheid South Africa, at the turn of the century. But there is a threat to the country's new democracy: HIV/AIDS, which is met with fear and superstition. Now that fear has reached Pietermaritzburg and an AIDS activist is dead. Maggie's instincts are on red alert. Despite threats from politicians and gangsters, she learns too much about Balthasar's life and his work at the AIDS Mission to be distant and professional. She is deeply, and dangerously, involved. Balthasar's Gift continues the tradition of pacy, hard-boiled South African crime fiction.