Seven Days Audio CD – Audiobook, 4 Sep 2012
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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))
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)
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)
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) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
AWARD-WINNING CRIME FICTION WITH SOUTH AFRICAN SOUL --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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.
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. This is because he is very much an Afrikaans male of an older generation, brought up in the shadow of the puritan Calvinistic Protestant faith. The Calvinist has no guilt releasing confessional.
Detective Captain Griessel is an engaging character, conscientious, emotional and, in his own view of himself, born to be a detective. Meyer uses him to good comic and dramatic effect, and also invests him with rich humanity.
Now, in Cape Town, as one of the few remaining white officers in a police force which has been worked over by waves of political manipulation resulting in the exodus of many experienced policemen and the influx of young, raw black and coloured (mixed-blood) recruits, he walks warily through the quicksands of racial tension. But he is admired for his expertise. He is no racist but he is a tough professional. In fact he is more often than not the victim of racist attitudes.
So, the balmy beauty of Cape Town is suddenly savaged by the fact that a sniper is picking off policemen. His anonymous e-mails accuse the cops of being Communist, of being incompetent liars. He says they know who murdered a well known female lawyer and they are covering up the crime.
Find the criminal, or I will shoot a cop every day, says the sniper, starting with a shot to the legs and becoming more lethal by the day.
As the most experienced detective, Griessel is handed this time-bomb of a case. The police will look like hopeless incompetents if the media discover they are being picked off on a daily basis by a sniper.
But the police really do not know who killed the glamorous lawyer. Griessel has to solve the murder in order to deal with the sniper. The pressure upon him is immense. And that's not all. He has fallen in love with an Afrikaans showbiz star, like him an alcoholic, and she has just toppled off the wagon.
As Griessel would say: "Jissis man. Fok!" I don't think I need to translate.
7 Days is gripping, amusing, insightful and great fun. And Deon Meyer is improving and refining his work with each book. I expect great things from him.--Prospero.
Rating: Five suspenseful stars.
NOTE: Meyer's agent was contacted for a review copy on two separate occasions - no response whatsoever. We purchased and reviewed the Kindle Edition.
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