Deon Meyer's engrossing South African thriller pits Detective Benny Griessel against a mystery that unravels like the threads of a complex tapestry. Griessel and his team must work quickly to identify and locate a young woman on the run before she is murdered by her unknown pursuers. Meanwhile, he has been brought into a second murder case, and is struggling to act as a mentor to a handful of police officers who don't necessarily want his guidance.
As the title suggests, the action takes place within the short space of thirteen hours, broken into short sections. In each section, Meyer describes events that are occurring simultaneously, jumping rapidly between scenes. He handles the transitions deftly so they liven the narrative but still feel clear and natural. This structure allows the reader to keep pace with the investigators' gradual discovery of the truth....
Beyond the Book
("separateness", pronounced "apar-tate" in Afrikaans, although many English speakers say "apar-tide") was a government-enforced system of racial segregation instituted in South Africa (map) in 1948. Control of the government at that time was held by White Afrikaners
, descendants of Dutch colonists who started to arrive in 1652, as well as descendants of British immigrants from the early 19th century onwards.* Under Apartheid
, citizens were classified into three race categories: White, Coloured (people of mixed race), and Black (or Bantu
). An additional category of Asian (which included Indians and Pakistanis) was later added.