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Trackers Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444723669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444723663
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.8 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 475,139 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 and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon

Product Description


Smuggling, missing persons and an edgy post-apartheid South Africa interlace in a riveting crime novel . . . This is the author's most accomplished novel to date. Following the thrilling plot of his best­selling Thirteen Hours was always going to be a challenge but he's visibly gained confidence, showing his technical skill and handling the different sections of the new book with effortless ease. It's a mesmerising read, and a ­startling revelation at the very end suggests that we haven't heard the last of these engaging characters. (The Sunday Times)

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 . . . But perhaps his key achievement is the astutely drawn trio: the conflicted bodyguard, streetwise but falling for a major deception; the young woman fleeing a desperately unhappy marriage and discovering something that changes her perception of herself; and the ex-cop, finding that the incendiary reserves of violence in his personality are nearer to the surface than he thought. 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)

A powerful thriller. Meyer deftly builds tension by allowing the paths of his three disparate protagonists a bodyguard, a private eye and a woman escaping an abusive marriage to intersect. A rewarding read. (Herald Sun (Australia))

A powerful thriller. Meyer deftly builds tension . . . A rewarding read. (Daily Telegraph (Australia))

It's like three complex, gripping an absorbing books in one, so you're getting your money's worth (Adelaide Advertiser)

Deon Meyer writes a cracking good adventure. (Manly Daily (Australia))

Meyer is a very good storyteller. A very good read. (Sun Herald)

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)

Stephen King is a writer who can be absolutely confident of the glowing reception he will receive for virtually everything he writes. King readers know that he is an absolute master of the ambitious, imaginative novel - and the proof of that shouts out from every page of 11.22.63. (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

A pulse-pounding thriller which also gives the reader 'total immersion' in a foreign culture - just as the Scandinavians do.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Maxine Clarke VINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Deon Meyer just goes from strength to strength. His great, loose set of novels about modern South Africa are a perfect mix of thrills, entertainment, emotional grip, and socio-political analysis. In previous books, Meyer has used the transformation of the police force from a hierarchical, all-white body into a multi-cultural, politically correct organisation, to confront different perspectives and assumptions people make about modern South Africa (for example its widely reported high crime rate). In other novels, he's used a "PI" style device to similar effect, highlighting for example the ethics of gated communities and wild-animal/safari business. In Trackers, superbly translated from the Afrikaans as ever by Laura Seegers, Meyer combines these elements in a novel of several distinct sections. Each section concerns an apparently different story, linked by various interpretations of "tracking" from ancient to modern. We as readers know these stories are going to be related, but not how - and this is part of the constant tension of this marvellous novel. I won't reveal the plot here as I don't want to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the book and its various shocks of discovery, but part of the plot involves a government surveillance unit, with a moving story about a 40-something housewife desperate for liberation from her ghastly husband and son. Other parts re-introduce previous characters (Lemmer from Blood Safari and Matt Joubert from several previous novels, now retired from the police force and starting a new job in security) - but not having read earlier books does not detract from one's enjoyment of this one. In the end, the denouement is based on a slightly dated punchline - through no fault of the author, but a victim of the delays in the publication process.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 24 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Trackers is the first novel by Deon Meyer that I've read, so I can't compare it to any previous works. What I can say is that, structually, it has to be the most original thriller I've read in a long time. Its as if Meyer is channelling Raymond Carver, the author of Short Cuts, with the book's three separate yet interconnected novellas (one of which is separated into two parts by one of the other stories) and multiple recurring characters.

Some may find this structure unsatisfactory or off-putting. Personally I found it refreshing, although I wouldn't want every book to be similarly fragmented. It effectively allows Meyer to create a collection of short stories, a tricky form that the author handles well, but simultaneously craft them into a something approaching a cohesive full length novel.

As with many short story collections some entries are more successful than others. Personally I found the stories featuring Lemmer and Joubert more satisfying than the divided tale set around the PIA, although others might disagree. I never really connected with the PIA story or the motivations of the characters involved. The terrorist threat being investigated remained too insubstantial and convoluted to really have much impact and the actions of Milla and her decision to go on the run didn't stike me as logical or plausible.

The Lemmer and Joubert stories worked far better for me, even if one remained frustratingly yet enticeingly open ended. It could be that it Meyers familiarity with the both characters, who have apparently appeared in previous novels such as
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steele Curry on 30 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Trackers clearly demonstrates that Meyer is the best of the best of today's mystery/thriller authors. This is a powerful novel with super characterization, compelling pacing and vivid settings.

Trackers contains a multi-dimensional cast of fascinating characters, many of whom have appeared in the author's prior six novels, that intersects through plot lines involving espionage, international terrorism, smuggling, criminal gangs and the workings of a private eye. A number of the individuals and groups featured in Trackers are engaged in the act of tracking different things that are important in their lives while having to content with the consequences of unforeseeable events. Throughout, it is obvious that the author is a fan of Nassin Nicholas Taleb's non-fiction book, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

While Trackers is set in South Africa, there is a global or universal dimension to most of the novel. The first main character, Milla Strachan, flees an abusive husband and teenage son to try to regain control over her life. Milla takes a position at an unnamed government agency that turns out to be a department of the Presidential Intelligence Agency whose mission is to track a Muslin terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda. Milla later strikes out on her own with an international smuggler of artifacts.

The second main character, simply known as Lemmer, is hired to bodyguard a shipment of two black rhinos, being smuggled into South Africa from Zimbabwe for a wealthy Afrikaaner farmer. These "Hook Lip" rhinos are fast becoming extinct. Accompanying the rhinos is Flea van Jaarsveld, posing as a veterinarian, but actually a professional tracker with her own undisclosed agenda.
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