Imagine discovering that your father was a Nazi war criminal who escaped justice.
Imagine if that was not the worst secret in your family...
What do we really know about our parents? How clearly do we remember our childhoods? 16mm of Innocence tells the story of three estranged siblings who have reluctantly congregated for their mother’s funeral following the discovery of a skeleton in the garden of their old family home.
The story unravels as they find old 16mm home movies locked away. By watching the forgotten reels they discover shocking truths beneath their patchy childhood memories: secrets about their family, their parents, the identity of the skeleton, and the reasons behind their estrangement.
16mm of Innocence is a suspense novel with a dramatic and foreboding setting back in 1985: the Skeleton Coast of South West Africa, bathed in dense fogs that have wrecked thousands of ships over the years; and the former German colonial town of Luderitz – built on black rock and trapped between the vast Namib Desert on the east and the cold Atlantic Ocean on the west.
As the siblings try to understand what has driven them apart, the story reaches back into South West Africa’s German colonial past and the harbouring of Nazi war criminals.
Smith’s latest nail-biting thriller will appeal to fans of stories with shocking twists, as well as to fans of his previous books, The Secret Anatomy of Candles (Matador, 2012) and Huber’s Tattoo (Matador, 2014), which was runner-up in The People’s Book Prize 2015 for Fiction.