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7 Days Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444723707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444723700
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.1 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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. Deon 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'.

Visit the author's website at www.deonmeyer.com and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

Product Description


Though the damaged series detective is a familiar figure in crime fiction, Meyer is far too good a writer for this to matter. Griessel is very much his own man, juggling the demands of his career with those of his equally testing private life. The narrative is well-plotted, and the novel brings to life the rich and volatile diversity of contemporary South Africa. There's nothing flashy here, just a good story, very well told. Would there were more like it. (Spectator)

The reader is plunged into a maelstrom of murder investigation, political corruption, racial tension and the clock is ticking for that all-too-human cop Benny Griessel who is also fighting his battle with alcohol on an emotional second front this time . . . Deon Meyer is a top notch plotter and has created one of the best ensemble (and multi-racial) casts of any modern police procedural series. (Shots magazine)

[Meyer] is simply too good a writer to produce anything by numbers. In fact, if he had written only books as concise as this - rather than, for instance, the massive, socially committed TRACKERS - he would still maintain his gleaming reputation . . . There is no gainsaying the sheer momentum of the storytelling. And there is a key thing to praise in 7 DAYS (translated from the Afrikaans by KL Seegers): how does Meyer manage to make the hoariest cliché of crime fiction - the alcoholic copper - read as if we've never encountered this device?

Even if Meyer chose not to write anything more on his customary scale, most of his fans would be perfectly happy with shorter books as focused and persuasive as 7 DAYS.


Deon Meyer's gritty crime novels [are] part police procedural, part political thriller and have, in Benny Griessel, one of the most appealing and humane of detectives . . . It's an insight into how much of South African business works, a tale of shady foreigners, super-rich enablers and politicians translating their party connections into private wealth. But in the same way that he creates Griessel as much more than your cliched drunk detective with a good heart, Meyer paints the corrupt with a delicate brush . . . What makes Meyer such a national treasure - and as good as anyone in the world - is that even if you have no knowledge or interest in South Africa's history or present, his books are compelling page-turners. Politics and race are just part of the intricately crafted superstructure bolted onto the rock-solid chassis of a top-quality crime thriller, driven by a writer with deceptive skill. (Books Live (South Africa))

Sleekly done crime fiction layered with the cultural complexities of the new South Africa. (Booklist)

Superior prose and characterization . . . Meyer balances the personal and professional adroitly, with a solution reminiscent of Peter Lovesey at his twistiest. (Publishers Weekly)

Deon Meyer has put South African crime fiction on the map . . . 7 DAYS is a clever blend of an Agatha Christie detective novel and a Frederick Forsyth thriller, with the carefully dropped clues [which I missed] and all the explicit detail of a gripping thriller . . . 7 DAYS is one of the best books I have read this year, because as well as the tension and thrills you learn so much about a very complex country. What makes a pleasant change from some authors from the Northern Hemisphere is that Meyer very rarely moralises, he just tells it like it is and leaves his readers to make up their own minds. Deon Meyer is an author on my must read list, and 7 DAYS keeps up the standard set in his previous books. (Crime Scraps Review Blog)

How fulfilling the rewards are for those seeking crime fiction with real texture and intelligence . . . The author presents an unsparing picture of social divisions in post-apartheid South Africa . . . TRACKERS is a sprawling, invigorating and socially committed crime novel. (Independent)

An ambitious, multi-threaded tale . . . comprehensively pulling the reader into the melee of modern South Africa . . . this is a book that tells a cracking story and captures the criminal kaleidoscope of a nation. (Times Literary Supplement)

Meyer is the leading chronicler of South Africa, and his latest novel shows off his technical skill . . . a dazzling performance. (Sunday Times Books of the Year 2011)

This year's great discovery: classy, edgy writing, subtly plotted and beautifully balanced between fast-paced action, pungent social comment and the process of investigation. (Weekend Australian)

The Thriller Shot of the Year title goes to South African Deon Meyer for his superb tour-de-force TRACKERS which combines a spy plot worthy of Le Carre ("spy the beloved country") with several tense and violent criminal sub-plots and a complex and stunningly impressive narrative structure. All in all, a masterpiece of South African crime writing; which is rapidly proving to be the bench-mark of international crime fiction.' (Shots)

This South African kind of crime is going global fast. TRACKERS shows why: three deftly-braided plot strands join political sophistication, strongly-drawn characters and a passionate concern with the Rainbow Nation's fate. (i)

An unusually intriguing story about modern South Africa. (Literary Review)

The book that stayed with me most from this year is Deon Meyer's TRACKERS . . . a dazzling performance. (Joan Smith, Sunday Times books of the year 2011)

Critics were struggling to come up with new adjectives to praise the South African writer Deon Meyer's TRACKERS, a menacing tale of smuggling and disappearances on a sprawling canvas of post-apartheid South Africa. (Independent Books of the Year)

The author is proclaimed to be "South Africa's answer to Stieg Larsson" in a banner headline on the cover. I wouldn't disagree with that. He is certainly as powerful a writer, although his style is slightly different, and considerably more complex . . . this is one of the most absorbing crime stories you are ever likely to read. (Shots)

Meyer's ambition matches his execution in this brilliantly complex standalone thriller set in his native South Africa . . . Few readers will anticipate exactly how the separate plot strands will be resolved. This powerhouse read, which captures the many facets of modern South Africa, should be the American breakthrough book this talented author deserves. (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

Award-winning crime fiction author Meyer demonstrates his superb gift for bringing together several disparate plots, striking characters, and vividly drawn scenes of contemporary South Africa, all roaring towards a climax with more than one surprise . . . With a fine eye for detail, an unflattering image of South African culture, and clear sympathy for the downtrodden, Meyer still never loses his focus on page-turning suspense and riveting mystery. Highly recommended. (Library Journal Starred Review)

Publishers and booksellers trumpet that "South Africa is the new Scandinavia" when it comes to crime writing and that Deon Meyer is "South Africa's Answer to Stieg Larsson". He's not; he's far better . . . With TRACKERS I would suggest he has moved into the John le Carré class, and not simply because one of the plot lines is about the workings of a South African security department and the political in-fighting involved, but mainly because this is a book which is a great thriller and a fine novel of characterisation. Indeed, the cast of characters is diverse (morally as well as ethnically) but every single one is fully-formed and three-dimensional and they all play their parts in a complex triple-stranded plot. (Shots)

Without doubt one of the brightest stars to emerge from the Southern African crime scene is Deon Meyer. A big, complex novel, it skilfully weaves together three separate storylines, and three different forms of crime-writing, into a cohesive and fascinating whole . . . The result is a very powerful thriller that sweeps the reader up in its gritty portrayal of modern South Africa . . . Meyer's mixture of compelling, believable characters, tense plotting and fascinating insights into the texture of everyday South Africa make TRACKERS one of the year's better crime novels. (Canberra Times)

Being hailed as the finest novel yet from an author whose reputation is growing around the world. Deon Meyer, is building a steady collection of awards for his books and an international fan base. (Hobart Mercury)

One of the sharpest and most perceptive thriller writers around (Peter Millar, The Times, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

Far and away the best crime writer in South Africa (Guardian on BLOOD SAFARI)

This guy is really good. Deon Meyer hooked me with this one right from the start. (Michael Connelly on HEART OF THE HUNTER)

7 DAYS, is a perfect example of why he is, in my opinion, one of the very best crime fiction authors in the world today . . . Deon Meyer is a rare author who is able to provide a ripping plot together with a large cast of fascinating characters, major and minor, as well as an ongoing social commentary on modern South Africa with its mixtures of languages, standards of living, cultures and attitudes. The translator, K L Seegers, does an excellent job of conveying all these levels in a freely flowing style. This thriller is very tense and exciting - I was struggling to guess the identities of the murderer and the shooter before the author reveals all in a very satisfactory conclusion . . . 7 DAYS is a marvellous crime novel which must be a strong contender for best crime novel of 2012. (Eurocrime)

As I would expect from Meyer, the book was well plotted, full of twists and turns as potential suspects were examined and then cleared . . . an enjoyable read with an interesting and surprising resolution. (Crimepieces)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Mankin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy Deon Meyer's novels immensely and 13 hours in particular had a 'high-octane' narrative drive. In contrast Trackers was more about an intriguing and very clever plot (although this wasn't to everyone's taste judging from some of the reviews). Seven Days is a slower paced novel than its two immediate predecessors and is also much more introspective. The author wants us to develop a better understanding of the central protaganist, Benny Griessel; who is, for me, one of the more interesting detectives in crime/thriller literature. The fact that he is an alcoholic may be something of a cliche but he is believable. Through him the reader gains some real insights into the South African police force and the wider social, economic and political context of the country. I also liked the fact that one of the more interesting characters from 13 hours, Mbali Kaleni, returns. Overall, not as exciting as 13 hours but much more thoughful in tone. Recommemded.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit on 4 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Benny Griessel is chosen to head up a task force to catch a perpetrator who has threatened to shoot a policeman every day [and has so far succeeded in doing so] until the murderer of an attractive woman attorney is captured. Benny of course is the iconoclastic recovering-alcoholic South African detective, now promoted to the exclusive Hawks of the South African Police Department. Through a series of emails, the shooter taunts the SAPD, often giving hints and quoting Bible verses. He tells them and the newspapers the SAPD knows who the murderer is. Unfortunately, they literally don't have a clue.

While Benny's brief is to catch the lawyer's murderer, separately, Mbali Kaleni, a member of the CATS [Crimes Against the State] team and another loner, is selected to catch the shooter. While they work independently, the cases are intertwined. Eventually, both learn the go-it-alone method is of no use, and teamwork is necessary, drawing on the entire resources of the department. Still, Benny relies on his intuition to guide his efforts.

"Seven Days" is another fine example of the author's perceptiveness and creative plotting. At the same time, his sensitivity to his characters, especially Benn's penchant for alcohol and his shy courtship of a lady friend, is tender and insightful. Benny's characters is further developed in the novel, both as a detective and, especially, as a person.

Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SFBooks on 30 Oct. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I wanted something to read on some airline flights. Not too 'heavy' but gripping and entertaining. 7 Days turned out to be ideal. I was 'gripped' by the story line within seconds. If you are looking for an enjoyable realistic crime novel - then I recommend this one.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Seven Days by Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer is an admirable oddity.

Meyer is an Afrikaner, a member of that tribe of white Africans whose origins stem from the French Huguenots and others who travelled rebelliously from Europe to establish their strongly Protestant culture in the wilds of Africa. They travelled into the hinterland on ox-wagons, over mountains and across rivers. They are a tough, practical, no nonsense people ---who also invented Apartheid (the policy of separate but unequal) which has tarnished their international image.

Meyer is from the beautiful Cape in South Africa. He has a background of success in business and became a novelist a little late in life.

He writes in his mother tongue, Afrikaans, which is then translated into various languages for his audience, which is now truly international. He has won several significant awards.

I only recently discovered Meyer's work and was immediately seized by admiration for his robust style, his flair for wresting suspense from conflict, and his uncannily accurate depiction of the tensions which roil South African society.

I have now read four of his books--Devil's Peak, Trackers, Thirteen Hours and 7 Days.

One character has come to dominate Meyer's crime thrillers: a cop by the name of Benny Griessel, a reformed alcoholic who fights his lust for booze on a daily basis. His drinking cost him his marriage and nearly lost him his job as a detective.

Griessel is unique in the annals of Western fiction by virtue of the fact that although he swears a lot, explosively, usually with a single expletive, he is intensely embarrassed by this behaviour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By debbie dargan on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is of a South African policeman having to investigate a murder. The characters are very real and the policeman has his own issues to deal with. This book is true to South African culture and issues. This book is set in Cape Town. Very gripping and a great read. I also love John Grisham books and would say that I have enjoy Deon Meyers books just as much. Certainly have ordered more of his books.
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By Gs-trentham VINE VOICE on 24 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover
7 Days, put simply, is a police procedural. We follow in detail the frustrations, the patience, the mistakes and the sheer cussed determination of the branch of the South African Police Service known as The Hawks. It is a complex investigation, involving murders and fraud. The central character, Captain Benny Grissel, is struggling in his career and fighting against alcoholism. And if all that makes this sound like just another police procedural it is a travesty of injustice.

Deon Meyer, who writes in Afrikans (and is well served by his translator, K L Seegers), can hold his own with the very best in this field. 7 Days grips just as much as Griessel's previous adventure, Thirteen Hours, and it does so for more than one reason. The whodunnit element is enough to keep the pages turning, but these feel like real people in an environment that is still coming to terms with itself.

Meyer's interest is as much South Africa as it is crime. He has written another brilliant book.
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