Lead Review

  • Book: The Dark Flood
  • Location: Stellenbosch
  • Author: Deon Meyer

Review Author: Tina Hartas



Deon Meyer is, indeed, the king of South African crime writing. He writes very convincing thrillers that show an absolute feel for the country and all the issues it faces. He is fluent in English, but chooses to write in his native language, Afrikaans. The brilliant translations by Laura Seegers leave in a fair few Afrikaans words to add context – it works really well.

In The Dark Flood, Benny Griessel has been demoted for insubordination and he and Vaughn Cupido have been forced to relocate to Stellenbosch. Ingtrigue, danger and drama follow them, and the novel opens with a cracking scene.

Surely a missing person case will keep them occupied without demanding too much of them? Before they depart, however, Griessel receives a note suggesting that there is corruption in his department.

Stellenbosch has the feel of a boom town that has had its heyday. One man in particular has been responsible for the town’s economic demise: Jasper Boonstra – a fraudster on a grand scale. Sandra Steenberg is in real estate agent and is struggling to make ends meet. She finds herself dealing with the reprobate and misogynistic man, she is tasked with selling one of his multi million Rand estates. She really needs the commission the sale will bring.

The thread of the missing person case and of the property sale come together in this well thought out and exciting read. The book has all the elements that make a crime novel pretty sensational.

What I found especially great about The Dark Flood is that it is not a book that could be set just anywhere. As, indeed, are none of Deon’s other books. They breathe South Africa – and all the contradictions that this amazing country presents.

High recommended.

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