Top positive review
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"Once the cycle began it couldn't be stopped..."
on 29 December 2004
Thobela Mpayipheli is an African giant, ex-spy, who is now living with his fiancé and her son in a small town in South Africa, called Guguletu. He has vowed never to go back to his old life, but his peaceful existence is broken when Monica Kleintjes, the daughter of one of his dear friends from the past, asks for his help. Johnny Kleintjes has been kidnapped and will only be released upon the delivery of a disk containing information that is crucial to national security. Kleintjes gathered this information when working in an integration project in an effort to document the real history relating to the events that took place in the dark era of the Apartheid.
Thobela, or Tiny as his friends call him, is a mysterious man that shows great kindness at moments, and cold-blooded violence at others. In a world when everyone wants to see things white or black, he presents a solid gray. This can be clearly appreciated by the reaction of the people as he goes on his quest, mounted on a powerful motorbike. Some see him as a hero, while others regard him as a dangerous man who cannot be good because he used to work as a "collector" for a drug baron. There is one reporter for the Cape Times, Allison Healy, who tries to answer the question: Is Tiny good or bad? This will provide us with valuable insight regarding the main character, but: can the question be answered with certainty?
One would thing that helping a friend that has been kidnapped would be hard enough, but Thobela has other problems too. Janina Metz, a high ranked officer in one of the intelligence agencies, had a wire that allowed her to listen to the conversation between the kidnappers and Monica. Therefore, she activated a special forces group led by a violent and vicious captain named Mazibuko. The idea is to prevent Tiny from delivering the information to the kidnappers. Thus, he is drawn into a mission filled with dangers and violence; a mission in which he will be faced with a worthy opponent in the relentless captain Mazibuko.
The exotic setting, the cleverly crafted plot, the exciting action, and the rich and complex main character, make this a novel that has it all. Deon Meyer has created a real masterpiece that is not even one notch below the work of some great authors in the genre, like John le Carré. I will be eagerly looking forward to this Meyer's new book!