Synopsis: Taken from the book
Under the burning heat of the South African sky, a man loses his son.
In that moment, the killer they call Artemis is born.
His victims are the guilty: the child-murderers, the paedophiles, the ones for whom even a life lived out in jail is too good.
But DI Benny Griessel knows this vigilante killer brings revenge, not justice.
Artemis must be stopped, before he makes a terrible mistake and another innocent life is lost …
About The Author:
Deon Meyer, was born in South Africa in the winelands of the Western Cape, growing up in the gold mining region of Northwest Province, and now living on the South African West Coast, with his wife and family.
Even as a child, he had a keen interest in writing, although after some negative feedback from his siblings, this idea was put on hold until much later in his life.
After studying at university, followed by a tour of military service, Deon had quite a varied range of career moves, before he picked up his literary career and started writing short stories for South African magazines.
Deon remains convinced that short story writing gave him a firm grounding, on which to expand his career into full length novels, when he took up writing full time in 2008.
He believes in doing as much hands-on research as possible once he has an idea for a story, whether it be working with the police, or out on the streets with his characters.
He prefers to write in his native Afrikaans, although he speaks perfect English. He has two lines of thought behind this decision, the first being that Afrikaans is his native language and he feels that he should respect that fact and use it whenever possible, then there is the challenge of ‘thinking’ in English which is much more difficult than the spoken word.
First published in English: 2007
Afrikaans title: Infanta
French title: Le Pic Du Diable
German title: Der Atem des Jagers
Italian title: Afrikaan Blues
My Thoughts About The Book:
Devil’s Peak, is the first Deon Meyer book that I have come across, but is his fourth published novel.
This is not the book for you, if you have a total aversion to descriptive scenes of moderate violence, bad language and explicit sexual encounters. HOWEVER, if you give this book the chance, it becomes clear that everything is set in complete context to the storyline, with the scenes only adding to the overall richness of the dialogue and with none of the content being gratuitous in nature.
There are three separate strands to this complex story, with two of them obviously intertwined, right from the start. The third, seemingly unrelated element, a beautiful Afrikaans woman, who is confessing her part in events to a priest, throughout the course of the book, turns out to be the most pivotal character in the entire plot, although this doesn’t become apparent until well into the story.
I wasn’t quite sure just how successful the format for the book would be, as the story is constantly jumping from one character to another, but it worked surprisingly well and kept the tension going right to the end, with the ending itself being well thought out and a pleasant surprise.
An Afrikaans prostitute, an Afrikaans alcoholic policeman and a black South African avenging angel, make unlikely bed-fellows, but we discover that although ‘bush justice’ can be viewed in may ways; despite culture, history and language differences, when it comes to children, they all feel the same way.
Complex characters are well thought out and portrayed, with a hard-hitting storyline, encompassing police corruption, drug importation on a grand scale, and gang related violence and brutality.
Many may think, that because of the author’s nationality, this may be a novel illustrating the still complex and volatile situation, in an apartheid free South Africa. However, to me, although this may well be the case, the issues laid bare, could apply to any modern, multi-cultural city, anywhere in the civilized world.
Personally I rated this book very highly, for both it’s fast moving, graphic and intricate plotting; and it’s flawed yet absorbing characters, with their personalities laid graphically bare, so I felt that I was right there inside their heads thinking the same thoughts and feeling the same feelings.
An accomplished piece of writing, that made me keep wanting more, from an author whose work I shall continue to seek out in the future.
A portrait of human nature at it’s most truthful, perfectly illustrating “man’s inhumanity to man”.
Worthy of my 4.5 out of 5 rating.