Tag Archives: Deon Meyer

A Review of Icarus by Deon Meyer

Icarus (Benny Griessel #5)

by Deon Meyer

4,0

I really like this series. All of the detectives are quirky. They each have their traits that define them. The only problem you may have with this series is the sprinkling of South African words and phrases. Most of them are just what they sound like, but every once in a while you may be stumped. Thankfully, Mr. Meyer does include a glossary at the end of the book, so you don’t have to search the web.

In Icarus, Captain Benny Griessel, who is an alcoholic, falls off the wagon after nearly two years of sobriety. Mr. Meyers handles the struggles that he is going though very realistically. I could really identify with Benny. I could relate to the messed up thinking that is what an alcoholic has to fight against every day. Hopefully he will be able find his way.

This is a Police Procedural. There is a murder to be solved. The victim was the head of a software company that wrote an app that facilitated marital cheating. It produced alibis for its subscribers. At the same time as the investigation is proceeding, you are sitting in on a meeting between a lawyer and her client. This series of interviews gives you the history behind the South African wine industry, which then ties back into the murder.

Icarus is a serious book, with humor sprinkled in, not a cozy mystery. Even though everyone in the book has their funny side, it doesn’t get in the way of the story, but it does allow for a bit of comic relief.

I give Icarus 4 Stars out of 5, and a Thumbs Up! If you are ready to explore a different culture, and don’t mind having to jump to the glossary once in a while, then you should give this unique South African mystery series a try. I think you will like it.

I received a Digital Review Copy from the Publisher.

Book Description

Icarus by Deon MeyerSouth Africa’s preeminent crime fiction writer, Deon Meyer is internationally acclaimed for his razor’s-edge thrillers, unforgettable characters, and nuanced portrayals of contemporary life in his native country. The fifth pulse-pounder starring Captain Benny Griessel, a lead detective in South Africa’s priority crimes unit, delves into the country’s burgeoning tech and wine industries.

A week before Christmas, a young photographer discovers a plastic-wrapped corpse amidst the sand dunes north of Cape Town. The only thing found on the corpse is a dead iPhone, but it doesn’t take long for the police to identify the body as that of Ernst Richter—the tech whiz behind MyAlibi, an internet service that provides unfaithful partners with sophisticated cover stories to hide an affair. Meanwhile, Benny Griessel is called to the scene of a multiple homicide involving a former colleague, and four years of sobriety are undone on the spot. He emerges from his drunken haze determined to quit the force, but the take-no-sass Major Mbali Kaleni, now his boss, wants Griessel on the Richter case. The high-profile murder has already been the subject of fierce media speculation, with questions swirling about the potential for motive: could the perpetrator be one of the countless jilted spouses? An aggrieved client?

Before the week is out, an unexpected connection to a storied family winery comes to light, and Griessel’s reputation is again on the line. Mounting towards a startling conclusion, Icarus is another exceptional novel from the “King of South African Crime.”

Book Details

 

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; Tra edition (October 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802124003
ISBN-13: 978-0802124005
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About the Author

Deon MeyerDeon Meyer’s books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-eight languages. THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa – the first time in the prize’s 16 year history that a South African book has won. His novels have also won literary prizes in France, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, and the film rights to seven of his novels have been optioned or sold. Deon has also written two television series, and several screenplays for movies. In 2013 he directed one of his original scripts for the feature film The Last Tango. Deon Meyer lives near Cape Town in South Africa. His big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Visit the author’s website at http://www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

 

A Review of Cobra by Deon Meyer

Cobra

by Deon Meyer

CobraI’ve read a few books by South African authors. This one is definitely on the top of the heap. Mr. Meyer does an excellent  job of drawing the reader into the story. He uses a multi-ethnic cast of characters to bring the diversity of Cape Town, South Africa to life. His characters have an authentic feel. You like them.

Captain Benny Griessel and the rest of the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), commonly called the Hawks, have to fight against  government corruption and public preconceptions. They have to dodge officials that want to shut down their investigation, and they know that nearly everyone else wants to bury the truth, but if they succumb to pressure, more people will die, and the corrupt officials and organized criminals will go free. They are the good guys, so they press forward.

Cobra is a difficult book to initially get into. Mr. Meyer uses quite a bit of South African slang and Afrikaans phrases. He has a glossary in the back of the book, but looking up each word gets tedious, and slows down the book. So I ended up just reading them phonically, and acting like they were spoken words that I didn’t understand. I got the gist of them, and just kept on reading. Once I started doing that, everything flowed much better.

Mr. Meyer uses a changing “Point of View” type of writing to build tension and keep your interest as the story unfolds. As he gets to the climax, he cuts rapidly from scene to scene, and that keeps the action at a frantic pace. You have to keep reading, you just don’t want to stop. It works very well.

The Hawks are a bunch of well-rounded characters. Mr. Meyer isn’t afraid to give them real personalities, warts and all. But their strongest character trait is that they all really care, and want to be the best cops that they can be. I feel like I want to read more of the books in this series.

The storyline is very engaging. Mr. Meyer has the ability to write an exciting, fast paced story, but still makes you care about his characters. He also gives you a look into life in Cape Town. You feel that you get to know the area through his eyes.

I really enjoyed Cobra, and think that you will too. I give it 4 1/2 Stars out of 5, and A Big Thumbs Up! If you are will to put in a little work at the beginning, you will be well rewarded.

I received this book for free from the publisher, in return for an honest review.

Book Description

Celebrated as the “King of South African crime,” Deon Meyer is a world-class writer whose page-turning thrillers probe the social and racial complexities of his native country. In his latest novel, the bodies of three people are found at an exclusive guest house in the beautiful Franschhoek wine valley. Two of them were professional bodyguards, but the British citizen they were meant to be protecting is nowhere to be found; left behind are his brand new passport, new suitcase, and new clothes. And the spent shell cases bear a chilling engraving: the flaring head of a spitting cobra.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, a skilled pickpocket is using his considerable talents to put his younger sister through school. But one day he is caught in the act. Security guards begin to question him, only to be killed with consummate ease by a stranger who leaves behind the distinctive shell cases.

With the help of his colleagues, Detective Benny Griessel rushes to untangle a case that only grows more complex. The British man’s passport turns out to be a fake, but the British consulate is decidedly unhelpful. And then the pickpocket’s sister is abducted. From Cape Town’s famous waterfront to a deadly showdown on a suburban train, Cobra hurtles towards a shocking finale—and someone may not make it out alive.

Book Details

Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (October 7, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0802123244
ISBN-13: 978-0802123244
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

About the Author

Mark Kohn, Amsterdam
Mark Kohn, Amsterdam

Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl in the winelands of the Western Cape in 1958, and grew up in Klerksdorp, in the gold mining region of Northwest Province.

After military duty and studying at the Potchefstroom University, he joined Die Volksblad, a daily newspaper in Bloemfontein as a reporter. Before becoming a full-time crime author in 2009 he also worked as press liaison, advertising copywriter, creative director, Internet strategist, and brand consultant. Deon completed an honours degree in History (UFS), and an MA in Creative Writing at the US.

He wrote his first book when he was 14 years old, and bribed and blackmailed his two brothers into reading it. They were not impressed (hey, everybody is a critic …)

Heeding their wisdom, he did not write fiction again until he was in his early thirties, when he started publishing short stories in South African magazines.

“I still believe that is the best way to learn the craft of writing. Short stories teach you a lot about story structure – and you have limited space to develop character and plot,” says Deon.

In 1994 he published his first Afrikaans novel, which has not been translated, “simply because it was not good enough to compete on the international market. However, it was a wonderful learning experience”.

All later novels have been translated into 27 languages, including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian and Bulgarian.

He has written several feature film screenplays based on his short stories, including Jakhalsdans, Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee, and Die Laaste Tango (he also directed the latter), and two series for television – Orion (based on Dead at Daybreak) and Transito. The film rights of Thirteen Hours have been sold to an international production company, and most of his other novels have been optioned for movies.

Deon lives near Cape Town. His big passions are motorcycling, music (he is a Mozart fanatic, but loves rock ‘n roll too), reading, cooking and rugby (he unconditionally supports the national Springbok team and the Free State Cheetahs provincial team).

Book Description and Details are from Amazon. Cobra