An antiques dealer in Cape Town is found dead, killed execution-style with a single shot to the back of the head. The contents of his safe are missing, suggesting robbery, but the weapon used in the killing is an M16-a gun that's generally the choice of mercenaries, not burglars.
Zed van Heerden is a former police office with connections to the world of soldiers and mercenary fighters from South Africa's battles for independence. And when he's called in to find out more about the victim, he quickly learns that this man in his fifties has no traces of a life earlier than 1983. Who was Johannes Jacobus Smit, and how did he invent a new life for himself out of nothing? What are the secrets that might have gotten him killed?
Van Heerden's probe stirs a fast and violent response, and before he has any idea what he's involved in, there's a seven-day countdown for his own survival. He has stumbled into the minefield of Africa's secret forces, a world where true loyalties are buried deep and treachery and violence are the only certainties. He must trust the instincts developed in his own frightening past to help him learn the truth-and use that truth to save his own life.
Deon Meyer recreates the beauty, wildness, and danger of modern Africa with an immediacy and force no other writer has achieved. Winner of Le Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere 2003, his work is undeniably "a cause for celebration" (Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph).
....after a sizzling debut, Meyer's second disappoints.....A step back then, but enough flashes of real talent to hope for better from his next.
Meyer keeps the suspense moving throughout the third-person narrative, alternating back and forth with van Heerden's own first-person account of his past. This is a remarkable achievement from a singular new talent.
A breathtaking pace, heart-pounding action set against a psychological backdrop, and a fascinating protagonist make this book a winner. Highly recommended...
Booklist - Frank Sennett
Starred Review. The author once again mines South Africa's fertile history of racial conflict and cold war gamesmanship for a narrative gem.
Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl in the wine
region of the Western Cape in 1958, and grew up in Klerksdorp, in the gold
mining region of Northwest Provence. After military duty and studying at the
Potchefstroom University, he joined Die Volksblad, a daily newspaper in
Bloemfontein as a reporter. Since those heady days, he has worked as press
liaison, advertising copywriter, creative director, web manager, Internet
strategist, and brand consultant.
In 1994 he published his first Afrikaans novel, which has not been translated.
All later novels have been translated into several languages, including English,
Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Bulgarian. He lives in
Melkbosstrand on the South African West Coast with his wife, Anita and their
This is Meyer's 2nd novel to be published in the USA: Heart of the Hunter was published in the USA in 2004, and was originally published as Proteus in South Africa in 2003. Dead At Daybreak was originally published in...
A stunning and darkly romantic crime novel set in 1950s apartheid South Africa, featuring Detective Emmanuel Cooper -- a man caught up in a time and place where racial tensions and the raw hunger for power make life very dangerous indeed.
Take one disarmingly engaging protagonist and put her in the company of a tenderly rendered canine, and you've got yourself a recipe for the best kind of down-home literary treat. Kate DiCamillo's voice in Because of Winn-Dixie should carry from the steamy, sultry pockets of Florida clear across the miles to enchant young readers...
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