Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review: Exciting, Edgy Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer!

Deon Meyer at a reading in Osnabrueck, GermanyImage via WikipediaThirteen Hours
By Deon Meyer

Did you ever read a book that got your adrenalin going? Well, Deon Meyer has given us such a book with Thirteen Hours! Seriously, readers, if you haven't read him yet, well, you are missing one of the best authors around!

This thriller has a number of different storylines running simultaneously. Set in South Africa, readers are swiftly taken from scene to scene to help us get into the mind of Benny Griessel, a homicide detective who had a "bad feeling" right from the start of the day...05:36 AM.

Griessel, an alcoholic who has been sober nearly six months has also been separated from his wife for the same time period. In fact, she is the one who demanded the six month period before she would even talk about getting back together. They are to have dinner that evening...

In the meantime, at work amidst other upheavals in the police service, he has been assigned to "mentor" new officers--the thing is, when this day arrives, that means that he isn't in charge of any investigation--he's required to "oversee" everything that is happening!

Primary in the day is the search for an American girl, who is being chased by a group of young men. Her friend had been murdered the evening before and the girl has been running for hours...nobody knows why, including the readers, so we are all wondering why they are chasing her and what they want! Which, of course, makes it harder to pick up leads and follow the trail! Benny has been established as the primary contact for the girl's parents in American and, somewhat foolishly, Benny promises her father that he will find her! Now he intends to keep that promise...

At the same time, the head of an African music recording company has been found in the bedroom of his home, with his wife, drunk, along side of him. Benny recognizes the wife and knows that she is a former singing sensation before she married. Her struggle and need for alcohol brings out both empathy for her and sets his own needs on edge as he tries to interview her. They quickly realize that the husband has been dumped from another killing site, but that does not exclude the wife from having arranged it, and that becomes more complicated when she attempts suicide!

Benny finds himself not only dealing with three fairly new police officers who want to do their own thing, but he soon learns that the manpower needed will require multiple agencies that comes with the usual bureaucratic power struggles. No wonder as he moves from one place to another, his mind wanders to his need for a drink and whether he can make it without--at least one of his few friends brought him some food while he was interviewing workers at a club--the rows of alcohol there had been torture for him.

I loved Griessel as the main character. Even with his personal issues, he was completely devoted to dealing with everything that had fallen to him. His urgency as he ran from site to site sets readers' hearts racing and we just don't stop until Benny does! Even his final personal decisions, after the Thirteen Hours are over (22:01) are richly rewarding as we see him moving forward, a stronger man.  What a cool book; really, a must-read must be my recommendation to you...

Book Received Via
Amazon Vine
Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN: 9780802119582
412 Pages

G. A. Bixler

(THIRTEEN HOURS) BY Meyer, Deon (Author) Hardcover{Thirteen Hours}

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