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Thirteen Hours (Benny Griessel) [Kindle Edition]

Deon Meyer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Fast-paced, powerful, tender and suspenseful, Thirteen Hours is a blisteringly good novel from one of the major crime writers on the world stage.



Some would call Detective Benny Griessel a legend. Others would call him a drunk. Either way, he has trodden on too many toes over the years ever to reach the top of his profession, and now he must concentrate on staying sober and mentoring the next generation of crime fighters - from the many ethnic backgrounds that make up South Africa. But when an American backpacker disappears in Capetown, panicked politicians know who they have to call: Benny has just thirteen hours to save the girl, save his career - and crack open a conspiracy which threatens the whole country.


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Review

This terrific, action-packed thriller has superbly drawn characters and an enthralling setting. Deon Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet. (Mail on Sunday)

Deon Meyer is the undisputed king of South African crime fiction, and THIRTEEN HOURS demonstrates why. (The Times)

South African thrillers arrive with racial baggage, and it's a mark of Meyer's talent to see just how well the issues are balanced with a smashing story. Imposing a strict time limit and a tight location on his plot, he ramps up the suspense to an unbearable degree. Best of all, his sharply drawn characters really feel part of the new South Africa, where loyalties and beliefs must always be questioned. (Financial Times)

What makes this novel so outstanding is its setting... and Meyer's superlative talent for suspense... This is a vigorous, exciting novel that combines memorable characters and plot with edge-of-the-seat suspense. (The Sunday Times)

Far and away South Africa's best crime writer (The Times)

gripping and suspenseful crime novel set in a violent, post-apartheid South Africa (Culture Magazine (The Sunday Times))

A cracking read from one of Africa's finest (Shots ezine)

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 (Matthew Lewin, Guardian, on BLOOD SAFARI)

One of the most exciting thrillers I've read for a long time. (Lady Antonia Fraser)

Blood Safari is my first exposure to the man billed by his publishers as the "king of South African crime thrillers". For once the publicity spinners are not guilty of hyperbole -- Meyer is simply excellent. (Business Day on BLOOD SAFARI)

Pulsating and gripping (The Sunday Times on BLOOD SAFARI)

I rushed through it like one of Meyer's beloved BMW motorbikes in overdrive. A fantastic read. I know Cape Town well and he did glorious justice to the city's mosaic (Tim Butcher, author of Richard and Judy bestseller BLOOD RIVER, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

'A moving, expertly constructed story of a broken man's redemption' (The Sunday Times on DEVIL'S PEAK)

Out of post-apartheid South Africa comes a thriller good enough to nip at the heels of le Carré (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on HEART OF THE HUNTER)

A Christmas Choice for best thrillers in 2007 (The Times on DEVIL'S PEAK)

A glimpse of the soul of the new South Africa in all its glory, and with all the gory details of its problems and corruption...I marvelled at the intricacy of the plotting, I smiled at Christine's cheeky ingenuity, I felt Thobela's pain and Benny's desperation, and I was stunned by a denouement of awesome power and accomplishment (Guardian on DEVIL'S PEAK)

My favourite South African thriller writer (James Mitchell, Tonight, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

'Meyer is a gifted writer...believable and disturbing' (Tangled Web on DEVIL'S PEAK)

'Deon Meyer, who writes in Afrikaans, portrays a world of terrifying uncertainty, in which those who fought for liberation from apartheid are having to come to terms with the knowledge that freedom is not enough to wipe out cruelty. A thoughtful and exciting novel' (Times Literary Supplement on DEVIL'S PEAK)

This guy is really good. Deon Meyer hooked me with this one right from the start. HEART OF THE HUNTER is a thriller with some weight attached and that is a rare find. (Michael Connelly on HEART OF THE HUNTER)

HEART OF THE HUNTER is a brilliant book. Deon Meyer does an excellent job of developing a whole range of characters who are affected by the changes in South Africa in different ways. And Thobela, a giant of a man in search of redemption, is a wonderful hero. (Michael Ridpath, author of THE PREDATOR, on HEART)

Meyer weaves an impressively tangled web and taut narrative keeps the reader guessing until the last couple of pages (Heat***, on DEAD AT DAYBREAK)

Like post-war Germany, post-apartheid South Africa offers fertile ground for reflective fiction ... Senior editor at Little, Brown, Judy Clain, a fellow South African, says, "Meyer has an extraordinary landscape - a changed world where the ghosts of the past play a huge role." (Publishers Weekly, on HEART OF THE HUNTER)

With simmering racial tensions, a bounty of natural resources, and a government whose members worked both sides of the cold-war fence, South Africa should prove fertile ground for many fine spy thrillers to come. Don't be surprised if quite a few of them are written by Meyer. (Booklist (starred review) on HEART OF THE HUNTER)

A fascinating portrayal...a black, assegai-wielding former freedom fighter who turns into a vigilante and goes on a killing spree; a high-class tart; and a policeman who drinks to drown the screaming that's waiting inside his head: "One day it will come out and I am scared that I am the one who will hear it." It does come out and he is the one who hears it, winding up the tension to a gripping, shocking climax. Highly recommended. (Jessica Mann, Literary Review, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

A sombre but terrifying thriller, and some parts will ignite even those readers with the iciest of hearts...Meyer plays the best of mind games with his readers (Mail & Guardian, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

Tough in-your-face crime writing that spares nothing in language, visceral scenes of blood and mayhem (for Meyer is adroit at choreographing descriptions of slaughter), and never wavers from the compelling pace of the story. It also has a mean line in humour that comes through in the snappy dialogue. (Sunday Independent, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK)

an explosive mixture (Peterborough Evening Telegraph)

the staccato story slips back and forth between the various strands at a breathless clip, doling out huggest of plot in just the right amounts to have us salivating to know more (Metro Scotland)

[Benny Griessel is] 'a gem of a protagonist... This is my favourite novel of the year so far.' (Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine)

Review

'This terrific, action-packed thriller has superbly drawn characters and an enthralling setting. Deon Meyer is one of the best crime writers on the planet.' -- Mail on Sunday 'Deon Meyer is the undisputed king of South African crime fiction, and THIRTEEN HOURS demonstrates why.' -- The Times 'South African thrillers arrive with racial baggage, and it's a mark of Meyer's talent to see just how well the issues are balanced with a smashing story. Imposing a strict time limit and a tight location on his plot, he ramps up the suspense to an unbearable degree. Best of all, his sharply drawn characters really feel part of the new South Africa, where loyalties and beliefs must always be questioned.' -- Financial Times 20100522 'What makes this novel so outstanding is its setting... and Meyer's superlative talent for suspense... Above all though, this is a vigorous, exciting novel that combines memorable characters and plot with edge-of-the-seat suspense.' -- The Sunday Times 20100425 'Far and away South Africa's best crime writer' -- The Times 20100425 'gripping and suspenseful crime novel set in a violent, post-apartheid South Africa' -- Culture Magazine (The Sunday Times) 20100425 'A cracking read from one of Africa's finest' -- Shots ezine 20100425 'One of the sharpest and most perceptive thriller writers around' -- Peter Millar, The Times, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20100425 'Far and away the best crime writer in South Africa' -- Matthew Lewin, Guardian, on BLOOD SAFARI 20100425 'One of the most exciting thrillers I've read for a long time.' -- Lady Antonia Fraser 20100425 'Blood Safari is my first exposure to the man billed by his publishers as the "king of South African crime thrillers". For once the publicity spinners are not guilty of hyperbole -- Meyer is simply excellent.' -- Business Day on BLOOD SAFARI 20100425 'Pulsating and gripping' -- The Sunday Times on BLOOD SAFARI 20100425 'I rushed through it like one of Meyer's beloved BMW motorbikes in overdrive. A fantastic read. I know Cape Town well and he did glorious justice to the city's mosaic' -- Tim Butcher, author of Richard and Judy bestseller BLOOD RIVER, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20100425 'A moving, expertly constructed story of a broken man's redemption' -- The Sunday Times on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070701 'Out of post-apartheid South Africa comes a thriller good enough to nip at the heels of le Carre' -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on HEART OF THE HUNTER 20070701 A Christmas Choice for best thrillers in 2007 -- The Times on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070701 'A glimpse of the soul of the new South Africa in all its glory, and with all the gory details of its problems and corruption...I marvelled at the intricacy of the plotting, I smiled at Christine's cheeky ingenuity, I felt Thobela's pain and Benny's desperation, and I was stunned by a denouement of awesome power and accomplishment' -- Guardian on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070721 'My favourite South African thriller writer' -- James Mitchell, Tonight, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070721 'Meyer is a gifted writer...believable and disturbing' -- Tangled Web on DEVIL'S PEAK 20080510 'Deon Meyer, who writes in Afrikaans, portrays a world of terrifying uncertainty, in which those who fought for liberation from apartheid are having to come to terms with the knowledge that freedom is not enough to wipe out cruelty. A thoughtful and exciting novel' -- Times Literary Supplement on DEVIL'S PEAK 20080510 'This guy is really good. Deon Meyer hooked me with this one right from the start. HEART OF THE HUNTER is a thriller with some weight attached and that is a rare find.' -- Michael Connelly on HEART OF THE HUNTER 20080510 'HEART OF THE HUNTER is a brilliant book. Deon Meyer does an excellent job of developing a whole range of characters who are affected by the changes in South Africa in different ways. And Thobela, a giant of a man in search of redemption, is a wonderful hero.' -- Michael Ridpath, author of THE PREDATOR, on HEART 20080510 'Meyer weaves an impressively tangled web and taut narrative keeps the reader guessing until the last couple of pages' -- Heat***, on DEAD AT DAYBREAK 20080510 'Like post-war Germany, post-apartheid South Africa offers fertile ground for reflective fiction ... Senior editor at Little, Brown, Judy Clain, a fellow South African, says, "Meyer has an extraordinary landscape - a changed world where the ghosts of the past play a huge role." ' -- Publishers Weekly, on HEART OF THE HUNTER 20041122 'With simmering racial tensions, a bounty of natural resources, and a government whose members worked both sides of the cold-war fence, South Africa should prove fertile ground for many fine spy thrillers to come. Don't be surprised if quite a few of them are written by Meyer.' -- Booklist (starred review) on HEART OF THE HUNTER 20041122 'A fascinating portrayal...a black, assegai-wielding former freedom fighter who turns into a vigilante and goes on a killing spree; a high-class tart; and a policeman who drinks to drown the screaming that's waiting inside his head: "One day it will come out and I am scared that I am the one who will hear it." It does come out and he is the one who hears it, winding up the tension to a gripping, shocking climax. Highly recommended.' -- Jessica Mann, Literary Review, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070601 'A sombre but terrifying thriller, and some parts will ignite even those readers with the iciest of hearts...Meyer plays the best of mind games with his readers' -- Mail & Guardian, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070810 'Tough in-your-face crime writing that spares nothing in language, visceral scenes of blood and mayhem (for Meyer is adroit at choreographing descriptions of slaughter), and never wavers from the compelling pace of the story. It also has a mean line in humour that comes through in the snappy dialogue.' -- Sunday Independent, South Africa, on DEVIL'S PEAK 20070810 an explosive mixture -- Peterborough Evening Telegraph 20100424 'the staccato story slips back and forth between the various strands at a breathless clip, doling out huggest of plot in just the right amounts to have us salivating to know more' -- Metro Scotland 20100513 [Benny Griessel is] 'a gem of a protagonist... This is my favourite novel of the year so far.' -- Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine 20100513

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1174 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TSE04C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,637 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deon Meyer--Thirteen Hours 4 April 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Deon Meyer's latest novel,his sixth to be translated
into English from Afrikaans,is an exhilarating read,and
shows him to be one of the best and most exciting of
crime writers.
As the title suggests,the story takes place within a
period of 13 hours.The engaging Detective Benny Griessel
is down on his luck.He is an alcoholic,struggling to stay
off the booze,his wife has left him,and he is uncertain
of his role and place within the new South African Police
Service.He is asked to mentor up and coming detective
inspectors,when two crimes occur.An American backpacker
is murdered,and her female companion is on the run from
the killers,and elsewhere a music executive is found shot
dead in his home.The former crime becomes a diplomatic
incident as Griessel has to save the young woman.
Amidst the unrelenting suspense,Meyer portrays some
interesting characters,and gives us a view of some of the
problems in South Africa.--A riveting ,well-plotted and
throughly enjoyable novel.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CAPE FEAR 6 May 2010
By Diacha
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Deon Meyer's "Thirteen Hours" is a taut and finely written police thriller set in Cape Town. K.L. Seeger's translation is pitch perfect - though of course I cannot vouch for its accuracy - and achieves an attractive differentness by maintaining some expressions in the original Afrikaans.

Benny Griessel is a veteran of the South African Police, reborn post-apartheid as the more politically correct South African Police Service. In this book, he is promoted and assigned to "mentor" up and coming black and colored detectives. He immediately ends up covering two cases and as his superiors become increasingly concerned about their political and PR ramifications his role moves from advisor to officer in charge. The first involves two American backpackers fleeing for their lives from a ruthless, well-organized and well-connected gang. The other involves the murder of a record company executive and the attempted framing of his alcoholic wife. Meyer shifts the close-to-real-time narrative back and forth between the cases at approximately two-page intervals, building up a sort of "24" sense of suspense.

Meyer is strong on characterization. Both his minor and major characters are three-dimensional. Griessel is well developed and despite being burdened with the overworked baggage of the fictional cop - alcohol issues, collapsing marriage, difficulties with authority, and a bathetic effort to connect with his long distance, grown up daughter - has a special individuality. One of the missing girls' parents speaks with him on the phone from Indiana and immediately knows he can trust him. This is not simply a matter of integrity but of commitment and competence. Griessel believes in what he is doing and what he is going to do and the reader believes in him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Page-Turner, A South-African Nightmare 26 Jun. 2011
Format:Paperback
This is the second Deon Meyer book I have read and like `Devil's Peak', `Thirteen Hours' is a real page-turner that gripped me from the first word, to the very last.

The clock is ticking from the word go, as thirteen hours is the deadline to solve the case of the American teenage tourist who is brutally murdered, the tension being heightened even more with the book being broken down into time-lined chapters, making me ultra aware of the passing of minutes, indeed seconds!!

The storyline is gripping and full of tension, as a police system in seeming disarray, undermanned with insufficiently trained, inexperienced officers; who come up against a system full of corruption, racial and sexual prejudices, strive to bring two separate, seemingly unrelated murders, to satisfactory conclusions, whilst maintaining some level of integrity and professionalism.

The build-up is cleverly crafted and full of suspense, as the two apparently divergent cases, slowly begin to have common links, with clues and information being introduced sporadically during the course of the day. The book jumps between plots frequently as the action hots up and Benny Griessel fights to keep control of the situation in both investigations, in his role of mentor to the new recruits that have been assigned as investigating officers.

The pace of the plot has natural peaks and troughs as we take short breaks from the action, which carries on in the background, when new clues are introduced, thus linking a fast paced action novel with the more methodical aspects of a police procedural, a format which worked well for me and held my interest throughout.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cross between Peter Temple and 24 22 Oct. 2010
By Julia Flyte TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
A fast paced South African crime novel that reads like a cross between Peter Temple and the TV series 24. Benny Griessel is a homicide detective, a recovering alcoholic who is hoping to win his wife back. He is woken early with the news that a American teenage girl's body has been found on the street. He quickly realizes that a second teenage girl is on the run, in fear of her life. His day gets more complicated by a second murder, the husband of a prominent singer. He needs to oversee both criminal investigations. The story takes place over the course of one day and is broken into segments of approximately an hour. It's a race against time, politics, corruption and police inexperience.

The book is set in Cape Town and the city and its problems - power cuts, heavy traffic, bureaucracy - are an intrinsic part of the novel. "The trouble with this country," says one character, is "everyone wants to complain, nobody wants to do anything, nobody wants to forget the past." There are racial tensions between different ethnic groups: Afrikaans, English, Indians, Xhosa and Zulu. There is a large and complicated cast of characters, but they are all interesting, rounded and believable.

My only critique is that the pace is somewhat erratic, swinging between breathless action, grinding criminal investigation and social commentary. However the real time element keeps the tension up. This is highly recommended.

The book was written and originally published in Afrikaans, but loses nothing in the competent translation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Read an e-trailer of latest book and thought I would try one made...
Cover 3/5 Nothing special

Content - Quite liked the first 100 pages as the chase hooked me in but I gradually lost interest as it became just another thriller with mixed... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Alexander Kreator
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Loved this because it brought back lots of memories of Cape Town. Easy read - good story line & a great character in Benny.
Published 1 month ago by Taniya
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracker
This book is an absolute cracker. I read so many terrible crime/thriller/mysteries that are terrible, it's great to find an author with the skill to do it properly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pellshek
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite books, ordered for a friend
One of my favourite books, ordered for a friend. delivery was incredibly fast, condition great.

Deon Meyer has an incredible skill for weaving multiple story lines. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hollie Harlow
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good reading
Published 5 months ago by Ena Eastcroft
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable
Once again a masterpies from Deon Meyer. Keep 'em coming!
Published 5 months ago by Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Super thriller!
Published 6 months ago by Carsten V. Persson
5.0 out of 5 stars a gripping read
If a novelist can make you believe the characters that are created are real then the book is going to be worth reading. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars this is the best of a very strong set
I am reading all of Deon Meyer's books in chronological order. So far, this is the best of a very strong set. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr K C Coney
4.0 out of 5 stars No time to pause for a breath
A book which insists the reader push themselves to get closer and closer to the conclusion. An intricate web woven across The Mother City.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
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