Thirteen Hours (Benny Griessel Series #2)

Thirteen Hours (Benny Griessel Series #2)

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Overview

Internationally acclaimed, prize-winning thriller writer Deon Meyer has been heralded as the “King of South African Crime.” In Thirteen Hours, morning dawns in Cape Town, and for homicide detective Benny Griessel it promises to be a very trying day. A teenage girl’s body has been found on the street, her throat cut. She was an American—a PR nightmare in the #1 tourist destination in South Africa. And she wasn’t alone. Somewhere in Cape Town her friend, Rachel Anderson, an innocent American, is hopefully still alive.

On the run from the first page of Thirteen Hours, Rachel is terrified, unsure where to turn in the unknown city. Detective Griessel races against the clock, trying to bring her home safe and solve the murder of her friend in a single day. Meanwhile, he gets pulled into a second case, the murder of a South African music executive. Griessel’s been sober for nearly six months—156 days. But day 157 is going to be tough. A #1 best seller in South Africa and a finalist for the CWA International Dagger, Thirteen Hours is an atmospheric, intensely gripping novel from a master storyteller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802145451
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 09/06/2011
Series: Benny Griessel Series , #2
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 399,311
Product dimensions: 6.68(w) x 4.36(h) x 1.44(d)

About the Author


Deon Meyer is an internationally acclaimed, prize-winning author of six crime novels, including Heart of the Hunter, Dead at Daybreak, and Blood Safari. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives on the western coast of South Africa.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

05:36: a girl runs up the steep slope of Lion's Head. The sound of her running shoes urgent on the broad footpath's gravel.

At this moment, as the sun's rays pick her out like a searchlight against the mountain, she is the image of carefree grace. Seen from behind, her dark plait bounces against the little rucksack. Her neck is deeply tanned against the powder blue of her T-shirt. There is energy in the rhythmic stride of her long legs in denim shorts. She personifies athletic youth – vigorous, healthy, focused.

Until she stops and looks back over her left shoulder. Then the illusion disintegrates. There is anxiety in her face. And utter exhaustion.

She does not see the impressive beauty of the city in the rising sun's soft light. Her frightened eyes search wildly for movement in the tall fynbos shrubbery behind her. She knows they are there, but not how near. Her breath races – from exertion, shock and fear. It is adrenaline, the fearsome urge to live, that drives her to run again, to keep going, despite her aching legs, the burning in her chest, the fatigue of a night without sleep and the disorientation of a strange city, a foreign country and an impenetrable continent.

Ahead of her the path forks. Instinct spurs her to the right, higher, closer to the Lion's rocky dome. She doesn't think, there is no plan. She runs blindly, her arms the pistons of a machine, driving her on.

Detective Inspector Benny Griessel was asleep.

He dreamed he was driving a huge tanker on a downhill stretch of the N1 between Parow and Plattekloof. Too fast and not quite in control. When his cell phone rang, the first shrill note was enough to draw him back to reality with a fleeting feeling of relief. He opened his eyes and checked the radio clock. It was 05:37.

He swung his feet off the single bed, dream forgotten. For an instant he perched motionless on the edge, like a man hovering on a cliff. Then he stood up and stumbled to the door, down the wooden stairs to the living room below, to where he had left his phone last night. His hair was unkempt, too long between trims. He wore only a pair of faded rugby shorts. His single thought was that a call at this time of the morning could only be bad news.

He didn't recognise the number on the phone's small screen.

'Griessel,' his voice betrayed him, hoarse with the first word of the day.

'Hey, Benny, it's Vusi. Sorry to wake you.'

He struggled to focus, his mind fuzzy. 'That's OK.'

'We've got a ... body.'

'Where?'

'St Martini, the Lutheran church up in Long Street.'

'In the church?'

'No, she's lying outside.'

'I'll be there now.'

He ended the call and ran a hand through his hair.

She, Inspector Vusumuzi Ndabeni had said.

Probably just a bergie. Another tramp who had drunk too much of something or other. He put the phone down beside his brand new second-hand laptop.

He turned, still half asleep, and bashed his shin against the front wheel of the bicycle leaning against his pawnshop sofa. He grabbed it before it toppled. Then he went back upstairs. The bicycle was a vague reminder of his financial difficulties, but he didn't want to dwell on that now.

In the bedroom he took off his shorts and the musky scent of sex drifted up from his midriff.

Fuck.

The knowledge of good and evil suddenly weighed heavily on him. Along with the events of the previous night, it squeezed the last remaining drowsiness from his brain. Whatever had possessed him?

He tossed the shorts in an accusatory arc onto the bed and walked through to the bathroom.

Griessel lifted the toilet lid angrily, aimed and peed.

Suddenly she was on the tar of Signal Hill Road and spotted the woman and dog a hundred metres to the left. Her mouth shaped a cry, two words, but her voice was lost in the rasping of her breath.

She ran towards the woman and her dog. It was big, a Ridgeback. The woman looked about sixty, white, with a large pink sun hat, a walking stick and a small bag on her back.

The dog was unsettled now. Maybe it smelled her fear, sensed the panic inside her. Her soles slapped on the tar as she slowed. She stopped three metres from them.

'Help me,' said the girl. Her accent was strong.

'What's wrong?' There was concern in the woman's eyes. She stepped back. The dog growled and strained on the lead, to get closer to the girl.

'They're going to kill me.'

The woman looked around in fear. 'But there's nobody.'

The girl looked over her shoulder. 'They're coming.'

Then she took the measure of the woman and dog and knew they wouldn't make any difference. Not here on the open slope of the mountain. Not against them. She would put them all in danger.

'Call the police. Please. Just call the police,' she said and ran again, slowly at first, her body reluctant. The dog lunged forward and barked once. The woman pulled back on the lead.

'But why?'

'Please,' she said and jogged, feet dragging, down the tar road towards Table Mountain. 'Just call the police.'

She looked back once, about seventy paces on. The woman was still standing there bewildered, frozen to the spot.

Benny Griessel flushed the toilet and wondered why he hadn't seen last night coming. He hadn't gone looking for it, it had just happened. Jissis, he shouldn't feel so guilty, he was only human after all.

But he was married.

If you could call it a marriage. Separate beds, separate tables and separate homes. Damn it all, Anna couldn't have everything. She couldn't throw him out of his own house and expect him to support two households, expect him to be sober for six fucking months, and celibate on top of that.

At least he was sober. One hundred and fifty-six days now. More than five months of struggling against the bottle, day after day, hour after hour, till now.

God, Anna must never hear about last night. Not now. Less than a month before his term of exile was served, the punishment for his drinking. If Anna found out, he was fucked, all the struggle and suffering for nothing.

He sighed and stood in front of the mirrored cabinet to brush his teeth. Had a good look at himself. Greying at the temples, wrinkles at the corner of his eyes, the Slavic features. He had never been much of an oil painting.

He opened the cabinet and took out toothbrush and toothpaste.

Whatever had she seen in him, that Bella? There had been a moment last night when he wondered if she was sleeping with him because she felt sorry for him, but he had been too aroused, too bloody grateful for her soft voice and big breasts and her mouth, jissis, that mouth, he had a thing about mouths, that's where the trouble had started. No. It had begun with Lize Beekman, but like Anna would believe that?

Jissis.

Benny Griessel brushed his teeth hurriedly and urgently. Then he jumped under the shower and opened the taps on full, so he could wash all the accusing scents from his body.

It wasn't a bergie. Griessel's heart skipped a beat as he climbed over the spiked railings of the church wall and saw the girl lying there. The running shoes, khaki shorts, orange camisole and the shape of her arms and legs told him she was young. She reminded him of his daughter.

He walked down the narrow tarmac path, past tall palms and pine trees and a yellow notice board: STRICTLY AUTHORISED. CARS ONLY. AT OWNER'S OWN RISK, to the spot just left of the pretty grey church where, on the same tar, she lay stretched out.

He looked up at the perfect morning. Bright, with hardly any wind, just a faint breeze bearing fresh sea scents up the mountain. It was not a time to die.

Vusi stood beside her with Thick and Thin from Forensics, a police photographer and three men in SAPS uniform. Behind Griessel's back on the Long Street pavement there were more uniforms, at least four in the white shirts and black epaulettes of the Metro Police, all very self-important. Together with a group of bystanders they leaned their arms on the railings and stared at the motionless figure.

'Morning, Benny,' said Vusi Ndabeni in his quiet manner. He was of the same average height as Griessel, but seemed smaller. Lean and neat, the seams of his trousers sharply pressed, snow-white shirt with tie, shoes shined. His peppercorn hair was cut short and shaved in sharp angles, goatee impeccably clipped. He wore surgical rubber gloves. Griessel had been introduced to him for the first time last Thursday, along with the other five detectives he had been asked to 'mentor' throughout the coming year. That was the word that John Africa, Regional Commissioner: Detective Services and Criminal Intelligence, had used. But when Griessel was alone in Africa's office it was 'We're in the shit, Benny. We fucked up the Van der Vyver case, and now the brass say it's because we've just been having too much of a good time in the Cape and it's time to pull finger, but what can I do? I'm losing my best people and the new ones are clueless, totally green. Benny, can I count on you?'

An hour later he was in the Commissioner's large conference room, along with six of the best 'new' people looking singularly unimpressed, all seated in a row on grey government-issue chairs. This time John Africa toned down his message: 'Benny will be your mentor. He's been on the Force for twenty-five years; he was part of the old Murder and Robbery when most of you were still in primary school. What he's forgotten, you still have to learn. But understand this: he's not here to do your work for you. He's your advisor, your sounding board. And your mentor. According to the dictionary that is,' the Commissioner glanced at his notes, '... a wise and trusted counsellor or teacher. That's why I transferred him to the Provincial Task Force. Because Benny is wise and you can trust him, because I trust him. Too much knowledge is being lost, there are too many new people and we don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. Learn from him. You have been hand picked – not many will get this opportunity.' Griessel watched their faces. Four lean black men, one fat black woman, and one broad-shouldered coloured detective, all in their early thirties. There was not much ungrudging gratitude, with the exception of Vusumuzi ('but everyone calls me Vusi') Ndabeni. The coloured detective, Fransman Dekker, was openly antagonistic. But Griessel was already accustomed to the undercurrents in the new SAPS. He stood beside John Africa and told himself he ought to be grateful he still had a job after the dissolution of the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit. Grateful that he and his former commanding officer, Mat Joubert, hadn't been posted to a station like most of their colleagues. The new structures that were not new, it was like it was thirty years back, detectives at stations, because that was the way it was now done overseas, and the SAPS must copy them. At least he still had work and Joubert had put him up for promotion. If his luck held, if they could look past his history of drinking, and affirmative action and all the politics and shit, he would hear today whether he had made Captain.

Captain Benny Griessel. It sounded right to him. He needed the raise too.

Badly.

'Morning, Vusi,' he said.

'Hey, Benny,' Jimmy, the tall, skinny white coat from Forensics, greeted him. 'I hear they call you "The Oracle" now.'

'Like that aunty in Lord of the Rings,' said Arnold, the short, fat one. Collectively they were known in Cape police circles as Thick and Thin, usually in the tired crack 'Forensics will stand by you through Thick and Thin.'

'The Matrix, you ape,' said Jimmy.

'Whatever,' said Arnold.

'Morning,' said Griessel. He turned to the uniforms under the tree and took a deep breath, ready to tell them, 'This is a crime scene, get your butts to the other side of the wall,' and then he remembered that this was Vusi's case, he should shut up and mentor. He gave the uniforms a dirty look, with zero effect, and hunkered down to look at the body.

The girl lay on her belly with her head turned away from the street. Her blonde hair was very short. Across her back were two short horizontal cuts, matching left and right on her shoulder blades. But these were not the cause of death. That was the huge gash across her throat, deep enough to expose the oesophagus. Her face, chest and shoulders lay in the wide pool of blood. The smell of death was already there, as bitter as copper.

'Jissis,' said Griessel, all his fear and revulsion welling up in him and he had to breathe, slow and easy, as Doc Barkhuizen had taught him. He had to distance himself, he must not internalise this.

He shut his eyes for a second. Then he looked up at the trees. He was searching for objectivity, but this was a dreadful way to die. And his mind wanted to spool through the event as it had happened, the knife flashing and slicing, sliding deep through her tissues.

He got up quickly, pretending to look around. Thick and Thin were bickering over something, as usual. He tried to listen.

Lord, she looked so young. Eighteen, nineteen?

What kind of madness did it take to cut the throat of a child like this? What kind of perversion?

He forced the images out of his mind, thought of the facts, the implications. She was white. That spelled trouble. That meant media attention and the whole cycle of crime-getting-out-of-control criticism starting all over again. It meant huge pressure and long hours, too many people with a finger in the pie and everyone trying to cover their ass and he didn't have the heart for all that any more.

'Trouble,' he said quietly to Vusi.

'I know.'

'It would be better if the uniforms stayed behind the wall.'

Ndabeni nodded and went over to the uniformed policemen. He asked them to go out another way, around the back of the church. They were reluctant, wanting to be part of the action. But they went.

Vusi came to stand beside him, notebook and pen in hand. 'All the gates are locked. There's a gate for cars over there near the church office, and the main gate in front of the building here. She must have jumped over the railings – it's the only way in here.' Vusi spoke too fast. He pointed at a coloured man standing on the pavement on the other side of the wall. 'That ou there ... James Dylan Fredericks, he found her. He's the day manager of Kauai Health Foods in Kloof Street. He says he comes in on the Golden Arrow bus from Mitchell's Plain and then he walks from the terminal. He went past here and something caught his eye. So he climbed over the wall, but when he saw the blood he went back and phoned the Caledon Square station because that's the number he has on speed dial for the shop.'

Griessel nodded. He suspected Ndabeni was nervous about his presence, as though he were here to evaluate the black man. He would have to put that right.

'I'm going to tell Fredericks he can go, we know where to find him.'

'That's fine, Vusi. You don't have to ... I appreciate you giving me the details, but I don't want you to ... you know ...'

Ndabeni touched Griessel's arm as though to reassure him. 'It's OK, Benny. I want to learn ...'

Vusi was silent for a while. Then he added: 'I don't want to blow this, Benny. I was in Khayelitsha for four years and I don't want to go back. But this is my first ... white,' he said that carefully as if it might be a racist statement. 'This is another world ...'

'It is.' Griessel was no good at this sort of thing, never knowing what the proper, politically correct words were.

Vusi came to his rescue. 'I tried to check if there was anything in her shorts pockets. For ID. There isn't anything. We're just waiting for the pathologist now.'

A bird twittered shrilly in the trees. Two pigeons landed near them and began peck-pecking. Griessel looked around him. There was one vehicle in the church grounds, a white Toyota Microbus standing on the south side against a two-metre brick wall. 'Adventure' was spelled in big red letters along the side of the vehicle.

Ndabeni followed his gaze. 'They probably park here for security,' and he indicated the high wall and locked gates. 'I think they have an office down in Long Street.'

'Could be.' Long Street was the hub of backpacker tourism in the Cape – young people, students from Europe, Australia and America looking for cheap lodgings and adventure.

Griessel squatted down beside the body again, but this time so that her face was turned away from him. He did not want to look at the dreadful wound, or her delicate features.

Please, don't let her be a foreign kid, he thought.

Things would really get out of hand then.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Thirteen Hours"
by .
Copyright © 2008 Deon Meyer.
Excerpted by permission of Grove Atlantic, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

What People are Saying About This

The South African Star - James Mitchell

“In Meyer we have more than a writer who entertains, and also more than a novelist who educates us about . . . ‘little cultural differences’: his greatest attribute is that he sets us thinking about ourselves and our country and our future. Painlessly.”
—James Mitchell, The South African Star

Michael Connelly

“Deon Meyer is one of the unsung masters. Thirteen Hours proves he should be on everyone’s reading list. This book is great!”
—Michael Connelly

James Mitchell

“In Meyer we have more than a writer who entertains, and also more than a novelist who educates us about . . . ‘little cultural differences’: his greatest attribute is that he sets us thinking about ourselves and our country and our future. Painlessly.”
—James Mitchell, The South African Star
— The South African Star

From the Publisher

Deon Meyer is one of the unsung masters. Thirteen Hours proves he should be on everyone's reading list. This book is great!” —Michael Connelly

Thirteen Hours has breathtaking suspense, psychological understanding, and one of the most inspiring detectives ever. Deon Meyer deserves his international reputation.”—Thomas Perry

A smashing story. Imposing a strict time limit and a tight location on his plot, [Meyer] 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

“A vividly drawn locale where political considerations affect everything, cliff-hanging suspense, and shocking plot twists, Meyer again has produced a winner. Highly recommended.” —Roland Person, Library Journal

“Try picking up Thirteen Hours and setting it down. Try. You can't do it. I'm a pro, and I couldn't do it.'” —Don Winslow, author of The Power of the Dog and Savages

There have been other South African crime novelists, but none are as deft at place as Deon Meyer. Thirteen Hours is Cape Town today, with all its exquisite beauty, tribal conflicts, loyalties and corruptions. … Meyer weaves all this into a tightly plotted story – with a twist that works beautifully – and unforgettable characters.—Margaret Cannon, Globe and Mail

“A gem of a protagonist … [a] wonderfully realized book. … Deon Meyer continues to be one of the most underappreciated writers in the genre, especially in the U.S., but if he keeps turning out books like Thirteen Hours, I can’t see that situation continuing for long. This is my favorite novel of the year so far.” —George Easter, Deadly Pleasures

Thirteen hours in the life of South African police Detective Inspector Benny Griessel make Jack Bauer's exploits look like child's play. [Thirteen Hours] progresses at breakneck speed.” —Maxine Clark, Euro Crime

Terrific.” —Hubert O'Hearn, ByTheBookReviews.blogspot.com

“Twenty years after the release of Nelson Mandela, South Africa remains a troubled place, and Meyer’s novels give rare insights into the texture of everyday life. Above all, though, [Thirteen Hours] is a vigorous, exciting novel that combines memorable characters and plot with edge-of-the-seat suspense.”—Joan Smith, The Sunday Times (UK)

“The staccato story slips back and forth between the various strands at a breathless clip, doling out nuggets of plot in just the right amounts to have us salivating to know more.”
—Ben Felsenburg, Metro (UK)

“[Thirteen Hours] is gripping, tense, cleverly plotted and beautifully balanced between action, investigation and social comment. And all of it rises towards a crescendo that is pitched to perfection.” —Material Witness (UK)

“In Meyer we have more than a writer who entertains, and also more than a novelist who educates us about … 'little cultural differences': his greatest attribute is that he sets us thinking about ourselves and our country and our future. Painlessly.”—James Mitchell, The South African Star

“[Meyer’s] novels are so engaging that you can easily get paper cuts from turning pages too fast. . . . Thirteen Hours is a ripping good read guaranteed to keep you up until the last word.” —Yolandi Groenewald, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)

“Thirteen Hours once again proves that Meyer is in a class of his own.”
—Suzaan Hauman, LitNet (South Africa)

“The message is simple: Thirteen Hours is available, it does not matter how much it costs, just go buy it. . . . You can’t read his books fast enough.”
Beeld (South Africa)

“Blistering… the fugitive girl's desperate flight, and Benny's equally frantic efforts to save her, deliver a heart-pumping yarn in an exotic locale.” —John Sullivan, Winnipeg Free Press

Meyer brilliantly juggles all of the thematic balls, while maintaining an unrelenting sense of suspense. We do not know till the end who is after Rachel and why they want to kill her. We do not even know if she is implicated in some crime or wholly innocent. What we do know is that we want her to get away.” —Yvonne Klein, Reviewing the Evidence

Thomas Perry

“Deon Meyer deserves his international reputation.”
—Thomas Perry

Customer Reviews

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Thirteen Hours 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 35 reviews.
Dennis-McG More than 1 year ago
My wife got this for me because I lived in Capetown for 3 years, many years ago. I thought this was an excellent mystery and enjoyed it greatly and found it hard to put down. It had interesting characters from all racial groups in the country and I plan to read more of Deon's work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thirteen Hours is a superb book set in South Africa, which gives it a flavor unlike any other I have enjoyed. The action is non-stop, and the suspense is nerve wracking. The character development is also outstanding. I will be reading all of Deon MEyer's books over the next few months.
maneekuhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Thirteen Hours" is a great book. After reading a number of plot descriptions and favorable comments, I still wasn't excited about getting into this longish book. I had read two others by Meyer, liked Blood Safari very much and thought Devil's Peak was good but not as good as BS. So I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got into this story and how the pace never let down. Good storyline, a few feints along the way, tension, great characters, and even after an excellent conclusion I still wanted more. The next book, Trackers, I believe is not a Benny-book, but I am hoping for at least one more. Two American girls on tour throughout Africa are chased through the streets of Capetown by a gang of 5-6 whites and blacks, one is caught and is murdered, the other escapes and is on the run. Meanwhile a recording studio exec is found murdered next to his passed out, drunken wife, and Benny must deal with this 2nd crime concurrently. Benny comes close to rescuing the girl but misses her by minutes. Then the climax in the warehouse - try reading those scenes without clenching your fists. Top notch. Benny has other plates to juggle this day as well - will he get that protoion? (today is decision day), and he has a critical meeting set with his estranged wife. All this in Thirteen Hours.
callmecayce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My dad recommended this to me, though I don't think he realized this was a second book in a series (this is the second time I've read a second book by mistake). Regardless, I didn't realize it until I entered it into LT that it was a second -- which bodes well for the series. The novel, set in South Africa, is about an inspector named Benny Griessel and two different cases that end up being intertwined together. Ignoring everything else, Meyer's two mysteries are fantastic and gripping, but when you add to that all the drama that make up good mysteries (police politics, family life of your detective and so on), plus multiple points of few and all the issues of race that come with a story set in South Africa, you get a truly fantastic mystery. It get brutal toward the end, but I didn't mind because it worked within the story and the world Griessel inhabits. I also like that Meyer gives you clues as to how the stories are connected and who might be involved, but doesn't spell anything out. The moments of brilliance that make up good crime stories are also quite well done. I've gotten a copy of the first book (Devil's Peak) and I can't wait to read it.
jmyers24 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you know when you read the first page of a book that it¿s going to be a great read. Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer is just that¿a thrilling police procedural that is difficult to put down. The story opens with Rachel Anderson, an American teenager, running for her life down the streets of Cape Town, South Africa, chased by five men who have just slit the throat of her best friend, Erin Russel. How did their backpacking trip of a lifetime all go so wrong? Detective Inspector Benny Griessel, a recovering alcoholic separated from his wife, has been assigned to oversee the unseasoned detectives investigating Erin¿s death and to find and save Rachel from the same fate.At about the same time, in another part of the city, the famous Afrikaans music producer, Adam Barnard, is found dead in his library. Lying nearby, awakened from her drunken sleep by the housekeeper¿s screams, is his wife, Alexandra, with a pistol on the floor beside her. Now there are two murders to investigate but no additional detectives. And Rachel¿s time is running out; Benny knows she can¿t evade her pursuers much longer.Thirteen Hours is a breakaway entry in a field of also-ran read-alike thrillers. In rapid-fire bursts detailing simultaneous actions occurring across the Cape Town landscape, Meyer lets you experience the events as they happen so that even as you are caught up in the questioning of Alexandra you are wondering what is happening to Rachel and whether Benny is making any progress in the race to save her. And all the principal characters are fully drawn--from white Benny with his domestic failures, to the angry black Dekker, to the eager "coloured" Vusi--Meyer paints a very vivid portrait of the cultural and political complexities in post-Apartheid South Africa. This is the most satisfying thriller I can remember reading. I can't wait to read the award-winning Meyer's other novels.
auntmarge64 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The second in a new police series starring a Cape Town detective dealing with marital problems, alcoholism, and race relations in the new South Africa. A young American hiker is found with her throat slashed, and her traveling companion is seen in the hills above the city running from assailants. Meanwhile, a famous music producer is found murdered in his home, his alcoholic wife lying unconscious near the gun, but it's clear the murder took place elsewhere. Over 13 hours the detectives struggle with both cases, made more complicated by jealousies and racial tensions among their own ranks. This last, the difficulties caused by the end of apartheid, was one of the most interesting and disturbing facets of the book. The mystery is very well-handled, as it proceeds deliberately and steadily to show the police trying to make sense of the puzzle, culminating in a can't-put-it-down final 100 pages.
Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Africa enjoys a number of very fine mystery/police procedural/thriller writers. One of the best is Deon Meyer, writing in Afrikaans, who turns out exciting, fast-paced, well-written thrillers set in today¿s South Africa.His latest is 13 Hours, a sequel, in a way, to Devil¿s Peak, whose events take place before this book. But it isn¿t necessary to read Devil¿s Peak before this book, although I recommend it as an outstanding book on its own.Detective Bennie Griessel of the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Cape Town has been nearly 6 months sober and is spending his time on the force mentoring the new detectives that have been hired or promoted through a push to infuse the SAPS with more blacks and colored staff. While mentoring a colored detective on one puzzling murder, Bennie is charged as well with assisting a young Xhosa detective on the brutal murder of a teenage American tourist, Erin Russel, whose friend and companion, Rachel Anderson, is on the run from Erin¿s killers.Once into the story, the suspense builds and builds and the pace never lets up. Not only does Meyer write a superb thriller but you also get, free of charge, a penetrating look into the South Africa of today--the racial politics, the discrimination, the tensions, the crime--and, a fascinating tour of the South African Afrikaaner music scene.Meyer is a top-flight writer in this genre. Highly recommended.
herschelian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is Deon Meyer's best book yet - a real roller-coaster ride through Cape Town as SAPS Captain Benny Griessel goes in search of a young American tourist who is being hunted down by a group of violent blokes who want something she has, and who have already killed her travelling companion. A clever plot which twists and turns and in doing so exposes some of the problems which have come to the fore in post-apartheid SA. Who knew the Afrikaans music industry had so much money swirling around .
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This was a pretty good book for free. I enjoyed it. The story kept a good pace going and you wanted to keep reading to see what was gonna happen.
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Smoke0112 More than 1 year ago
Kept me on the edge while I read it. If you like cop shows you'll like this. Great character development. Left me wondering about them once the book was done. Have no desire to visit but loved reading about South Africa. Next I read his book Blood Safari, Like it even better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a free flowing story includes how our President is protected. Even though it is fiction, it may have a touch of reality.
CatzTC More than 1 year ago
Very good book, suspense, thriller and the characters are very likable and interesting especially captain Greisel!