When Deon Meyer's Thirteen Hours won the Barry Award for Best Thriller, one of international crime fiction's most electrifying writers finally began to get the American attention he so richly deserves. With seven novels published in 20 languages (all available on audio), Meyer has set countless hearts racing with gripping stories that mix the violence, politics, natural beauty, and history of his native South Africa.
In Thirteen Hours, homicide detective Bennie Griessel struggled to solve the murder of an American girl, find her missing friend, and avoid drinking again, all in a single day. In Seven Days, Griessel is given another nearly impossible task. Two police officers have been shot, and the department has received an email from the shooter alleging a cover-up in a cold case. He threatens more violence until the case is solved.
The case in question is the murder of Hanneke Sloet, an ambitious lawyer stabbed to death in her luxury apartment. There's no apparent motive and no leads, just a set of nude photographs and an ex-boyfriend with a rock-solid alibi. Then more policemen are shot and the pressure mounts. Can Bennie solve the case and stay sober? Seven Days is a gripping adventure by a fantastic writer at the top of his game.
©2012 Deon Meyer. English translation 2012, K. L. Seegers. (P)2012 HighBridge Company
Deon Meyer is a very good writer and his stories are a great glimpse into South African culture. When I first started listening to these stories I thought the character development phase of the story was a bit much. As I go farther with this author I have come to really enjoy his style in this aspect of the story - you become invested in the characters and become part of the story, the world they exist in. The people in the book are all real and the work and toil are all well presented, the mystery is exciting and the plot unfolds very well culminating in a terrific ending with a great plot twist. The narration is first rate and the accents spectacular. I would highly recommend this author, I have not read a bad book written by him yet, and this is a well crafted mystery novel.
Like his runaway bestseller Thirteen Hours, Deon Meyer's Seven Days features Inspector Benny Griessel, a reformed alcoholic dedicated to his work with the South African Police Services and to recovering his dignity and relationship with his children. Meyer has created a compelling cast of characters throughout his crime-writing career, but Griessel is perhaps the most finely drawn, so it's delightful to see him back in action again so soon.
The novel opens with a mysterious figure dubbed "Solomon" by the media, who shoots and wounds one policeman each day--eventually killing an officer--because, he claims, the SAPS know who murdered a lawyer named Hanneke Sloet and are covering up for her killer. Solomon emails the media and the SAPS repeatedly, but to Benny's irritation doesn't actually name the person he believes responsible.
The original investigation into Sloet's death had gone nowhere, and Benny and his team frantically search for any new clues and try to figure out the connection to Solomon. Meanwhile, his Zulu colleague Mbali Kaleni tracks the shooter with her usual tenaciousness. The two investigations move forward in parallel, with Benny increasingly frustrated and furious, but unable to understand the shooter's motivation. Readers are treated to a narration of events from the shooter's point of view, so we know he believes his own assertion that the SAPS are covering up the Sloet killing, but like Benny, we don't know why until the end.
Meanwhile, Benny's personal life grows increasingly complicated as he develops a relationship with Alexa Barnard, a talented and once-famous singer who is also an alcoholic. Benny's own sobriety is tested when Alexa falls off the wagon as she tries to re-start her career, and he's pulled in two directions trying to care for her while solving a high-profile case in the spotlight of the media.
As usual in Meyer's novels, the plot is tight, the writing is taut, and the characters are beautifully developed. The detailed rendering of life and politics in the new South Africa is nothing short of brilliant. Nonetheless, Seven Days doesn't quite reach the level of Meyer's best work (which in my opinion was Thirteen Hours). The pacing is a little of,f so the book drags a bit in the middle. Benny's self-doubt is overplayed at times and he approaches maudlin as he berates and blames himself for Alexa's drinking. And I found myself wondering over and over why the shooter doesn't simply give the media the name of Sloet's killer, if he's so sure he knows who it is.
Still, Seven Days is a terrific book narrated by the best narrator I've found. I've already listened to it twice, and I'm sure I'll return to it again in the future. There's no better crime writer on the scene today.
I generally love mysteries but emphasis on women's body parts was boring and tasteless. Had nothing to do with plot. I was unable to get past first 1/3 of book/ Couldn't care about any of the characters. Big waste of time
After listening to Thirteen Hours, I couldn't wait to hear this story as it continued with the life of Det.Benny Grisel. This book wasn't as interesting to me though, as it was filled with corporate politics and trying to explain the workings of big business. Benny had trouble understanding it all, as did I, along with finding it very boring at times. I did enjoy hearing more about Benny's life and how he seems to be patching it up since he quit drinking. The concern for his children and a new girlfriend that falls off the wagon, almost hampers his investigation as he realizes he's behind the times with so much of today's world. All in all, with Benny trying to solve a cold case in order to help solve a rash of police shootings from a sniper claiming a cover up, makes for an interesting story.
I have almost six humdred books in my library and I enjoy them one at a time. I have listened to all of Vince Flynn, Nelson DeMille, Greg Isles, Kate Morton, Henning Mankell and many others After I have listened to all his books I will decide then if I will add llvehim to my list.
I usually love Simon Vance, however, he read this one a little to fast.
Seven Days a movie filmed in Sweden
BennyGriessel is given another nearly impossible task. He has now been moved to the Special Crimes Unit in Capetown, called The Hawks. They are called in on a case which is about a month old. An ambitious young lawyer has been murdered. When the case isn’t solved, the police start receiving e-mails which they pay no attention to at first. The emails indicate that a policeman will be shot daily until the case is solved. The emails insist that the police know who committed the murder and are covering it up because of corruption. The police have no idea who murdered the lawyer. So the case has been assigned to The Hawks. They also will need to investigate who is shooting a policeman a day until the murder is solved. Involved may be the law firm for which the lawyer worked, the Russian mafia, and others who may want the lawyer murdered because of what she has found out. Benny has now been sober for several months, is in A.A., and has met someone else in A.A. that he is becoming interested in. Can Benny and his team solve the case before more policemen are shot, and can he stay sober? These books, as I keep saying, are wonderful. Simon Vance continues his excellent narration.
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