“Prooi,” by Deon Meyer
It is not hard to see how Meyer has become the most popular writer in Afrikaans.
This very contemporary page-turner will thrill his fans in his huistaal and doubtless earn him many more followers in English and the other languages he is translated into.
This the second book of Meyer’s that I have read and Afrikaans and by far my favorite.
I am sure the Afkrikaanse Taal en Cultuur Vereniging, if they still exist, will have something disparaging to say about the amount of English that appears in the Afrikaans edition. Ma dis die way Vaughn Cupido, Bennie Griessel se vertroude sidekick praat.
The book juxtaposes two stories: Griessel and Cupido investigating the murder of a private eye, formerly a member of the police VIP protection unit who was thrown off the luxury Rovos Rail between Cape Town and Pretoria; and the bid to draw an exiled former liberation fighter Tobel Mpayipheli back into the fray.
This technique can so easily become complex and annoying.
Meyer handles it well by initially changing between the two stories every few chapters and then decreasing the wait until approaching the denouement he switches between the two after a few paragraphs.
Meyer never names the president captured by three Indian billionaires. He doesn’t have to.
The suspense is maintained until quite literally the last page.
It is underpinned by some thorough and masterful research that includes taking a trip on the luxury train. Tough work, but someone has to do it.
I particularly enjoy his descriptions of Bordeaux.
Character development of Mpayipheli, nom du guerre Umzimzingeli who seeks a quiet life as French documented Daniel Darret, is particularly endearing.
We can only hope the corruption and state capture he writes about is something of the past.
If he is not, we must pray there are dedicated law enforcement professionals like Griessel and Cupido to counter it. 2019-06-01