Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but very over-rated, 13 Feb 2014
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This review is from: 7 Days (Paperback)
I came across this book as I'm planning a holiday to Cape Town and fancied a novel that might give a bit of interesting local context. The book fails completely on that score. But, as a crime novel, it's an interesting enough read for most of the way. I was hooked enough to want to know why the lawyer had been murdered and by whom. And the 'shooter' character was interesting to follow even if it was difficult to buy the motivations for the actions. The great copper as failed human - yawn, another alcoholic - is over-played to an affect that is both irritating and boring. The side issues of daughter's new boyfriend and son's wish for a tattoo add nothing to either the character or the novel. But, somehow, there's enough plot and intrigue to want to know why the murder happened and the story moves along reasonably enough.

However, when you finally get there the motivations of both the killer and the 'shooter' left me rather baffled. The twist in the final chapter is risible given we just don't know enough about the people involved to judge the plausibility of it all.

But the most disappointing aspect was the lack of Cape Town. There are obviously character names, place names and probably an over-use of Afrikaans and Xhosa words. There's a tantalizing glimpse of the racial issues that still exist in South Africa but these tend to be left hanging in disappointing dialogue. As one example, a black character asserts that he's aware he's been asked along to a meeting as a token black participant and the white colleague just shrugs. There are a couple of references to warm climate. But change the names and place names and the novel is just anywhere's ville.

I know they're historical but I think it's Andre Brink rather than Deon Meyer for something to pique my interest in South Africa.
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4.3 out of 5 stars (32 customer reviews)
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