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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.