Innie Shadows

Innie Shadows

Written by: Coetzee, Olivia M.
Translated by: Coetzee, Olivia M.

A taut and unsparing novel about a community plagued by violence, drugs, corruption, and prejudice—but where love and justice prevail.

The unidentifiable remains of a body are discovered in a field in Shadow Heights, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Ley, the youngest detective at her precinct, is assigned the case and quickly begins her investigation. Soon after, Ley receives a phone call saying that Carl, a friend struggling with a meth addiction, has gone missing after being linked to the Drug King of Shadow Heights. Meanwhile, a local church group believe they are cleansing the area by burning sinners, starting with homosexuals.

The search for Carl and the truth leads the reader through the vibrant lives of the residents of Shadow Heights. Violence, poverty, and shame plague the neighbourhood, but there is also love, acceptance, and hope to be found among friends and family in the shadows of everyday life.

A pioneering work of fiction in which the dispossessed tell their own stories, Innie Shadows is the first novel to be translated from Kaaps, a dialect of Afrikaans that was until recently a spoken language only.

A taut and unsparing novel about a community plagued by violence, drugs, corruption, and prejudice—but where love and justice prevail.

The unidentifiable remains of a body are discovered in a field in Shadow Heights, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Ley, the youngest detective at her precinct, is assigned the case and quickly begins her investigation. Soon after, Ley receives a phone call saying that Carl, a friend struggling with a meth addiction, has gone missing after being linked to the Drug King of Shadow Heights. Meanwhile, a local church group believe they are cleansing the area by burning sinners, starting with homosexuals.

The search for Carl and the truth leads the reader through the vibrant lives of the residents of Shadow Heights. Violence, poverty, and shame plague the neighbourhood, but there is also love, acceptance, and hope to be found among friends and family in the shadows of everyday life.

A pioneering work of fiction in which the dispossessed tell their own stories, Innie Shadows is the first novel to be translated from Kaaps, a dialect of Afrikaans that was until recently a spoken language only.

Published By House of Anansi Press Inc — Oct 15, 2024
Specifications 176 pages | 5.25 in x 8 in
Written By

OLIVIA M. COETZEE was born in Mariental, a small town in southern Namibia. She found her voice and words in the township of Electric City, which is in Eerste Rivier, Cape Town. She is a passionate advocate for Kaaps being a written language as well as a spoken one. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town.

Written By

OLIVIA M. COETZEE was born in Mariental, a small town in southern Namibia. She found her voice and words in the township of Electric City, which is in Eerste Rivier, Cape Town. She is a passionate advocate for Kaaps being a written language as well as a spoken one. She has an MA in creative writing from the University of Cape Town.


"Groundbreaking and unique, character-driven crime fiction written in my favourite dialect. I was mesmerized." —Deon Meyer

” —Deon Meyer

"Fresh, searing, gritty, richly vivid, and fearless, Innie Shadows is not afraid to speak its truth. Innie Shadows will take you deep into a world ruled by desire, greed, lust, and the raw destruction of all that is vulnerable, precious, and innocent. But there is love, hope, joy, and rebirth. As a character in the book says, ‘And you say there's nothing beautiful here.’ There most certainly is." —Lisa de Nikolits, author of Everything You Dream is Real, Rotten Peaches, and The Witchdoctor’s Bones

” —Lisa de Nikolits, author of Everything You Dream is Real, Rotten Peaches, and The Witchdoctor’s Bones

"Olivia M. Coetzee’s swift-moving, tautly constructed novel about the inhabitants of the Shadows is suspenseful, surprising, and, in the end, devastating." —Méira Cook, author of The Full Catastrophe

” —Méira Cook, author of The Full Catastrophe

"A searing crime novel, a spellbinding story of queer desire, friendship, and resilience, and a trailblazing work of fiction, Innie Shadows is an authentic, unsentimental, fearless achievement. Even in its darkest moments, it brims with life." —Kathy Friedman, author of All the Shining People

Innie Shadows is a fast-paced yet richly detailed story … The characters leap off the page, fully human.” —Adriana Chartrand, author of An Ordinary Violence