In her latest book Jenny Hobbs has taken on the clubby SA business community and added an extra dimension to a call made regularly in the FM for stricter regulation of business practices. In Quain, Hobbs has created a deeply flawed individual. He is an opaque, multifaceted character, lovable but nefarious, ruthless but soft, leaving hefty bequests to his down-and-out friends and helping establish a Johannesburg renaissance… The opacity of Quain’s life is a metaphor for the lack of transparency in SA businesses. None of his circles converges, everyone is kept in the dark. Only as his life fades does he shine a light on it and find it wanting. Dobermann represents morality, and her absolution is as necessary to Quain as his acceptance of her socialist conscience is to her. Hobbs is a powerful storyteller. She secured her credentials with The Sweet-Smelling Jasmine, another novel based on headlines, but one that will live on in my mind.