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Seven Days Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120359
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


Praise for Seven Days

“Sleekly done crime fiction layered with the cultural complexities of the new South Africa.”—Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

“Superior prose and characterization … Meyer balances the personal and professional adroitly, with a solution reminiscent of Peter Lovesey at his twistiest.”—Publishers Weekly

“A perfect example of why [Meyer] is, in my opinion, one of the very best crime fiction authors in the world today... Seven Days is a marvelous crime novel which must be a strong contender for best crime novel of 2012.”—Maxine Clark, Eurocrime

“Deon Meyer continues his string of superb, tightly constructed timeline thrillers. Coming on the heels of the breath-holding Thirteen Hours, Seven Days takes us into the heart of a major police hunt for a killer targeting policemen as he demands the investigation of a seemingly unsolvable cold case.”—Margaret Cannon, Globe & Mail

Praise for Deon Meyer

“Deon Meyer is one of the unsung masters.” –Michael Connelly

“Meyer has a fine eye for people and places... Meyer is a serious writer who richly deserves the international reputation he has built.” –The Washington Post

“If you haven’t read Deon Meyer yet, you’re missing out.” –Mystery Fanfare

“If you want a glimpse of the soul of the new South Africa in all its glory, and with all the gory details of its problems and corruption, Meyer is your man.” –The Guardian (UK)

“There have been other South African crime novelists, but none are as deft at place as Deon Meyer.” –Globe and Mail (CA)

About the Author

Deon Meyer is an internationally acclaimed, prize-winning author of seven crime novels, including Blood Safari, Thirteen Hours and Trackers. His books have been translated into twenty languages. He lives on the western coast of South Africa.

More About the Author

Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl in the winelands of the Western Cape in 1958, and grew up in Klerksdorp, in the gold mining region of Northwest Province.

After military duty and studying at the Potchefstroom University, he joined Die Volksblad, a daily newspaper in Bloemfontein as a reporter. Since then, he has worked as press liaison, advertising copywriter, creative director, web manager, Internet strategist, and brand consultant.

Deon wrote his first book when he was 14 years old, and bribed and blackmailed his two brothers into reading it. They were not impressed (hey, everybody is a critic ...)


Heeding their wisdom, he did not write fiction again until he was in his early thirties, when he started publishing short stories in South African magazines.

"I still believe that is the best way to learn the craft of writing. Short stories teach you a lot about story structure - and you have limited space to develop character and plot," says Deon.

In 1994 he published his first Afrikaans novel, which has not been translated, "simply because it was not good enough to compete on the international market. However, it was a wonderful learning experience".

All later novels have been translated into 25 languages, including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian and Bulgarian.

Deon lives in Melkbosstrand on the South African West Coast with his wife, Anita, and they have four children to keep them busy: Lida, Liam, Johan and Konstanz.

Other than his family, his big passions are motorcycling, music (he is a Mozart fanatic, but loves rock 'n roll too), reading, cooking and rugby (he unconditionally supports the national Springbok team and the Free State Cheetahs provincial team).

The Hodder interview

How did you come to write your first novel?
I sort of worked my way up to a novel by writing short stories for magazines first, to learn the basics of writing fiction. It took about 15 short stories before I attempted the longer form - and it was a steep learning curve.

How do you do your research?
I do as much hands-on research as possible, like spending a week or so with the police detectives in Cape Town, or riding the motorcycle routes (for Heart of the Hunter). Interviews with clever people, like police forensics experts, forensic psychologists and even a sex workers (for Devil's Peak) is next on the list, after which I read as much as possible about the subjects I'm writing about.

Do you still consult on brand strategy?
No, I started writing full time in January 2008, and had to resign from the wonderful privilege of working for BMW Motorcycles as a brand strategist and special projects manager.

Are you married/single?
I am happily married to Anita, without whom not much would have been possible.

What are your thoughts about the state of S.A. today?
I'm not sure that a short answer will do justice to such an intriguing and complicated country, but let me try: I am extremely positive about South Africa. Despite huge challenges, such as poverty, aids, and crime, we've come a long way since 1994.

The economy is growing at a rapid rate, Black Economic Empowerment is paying big dividends through the creation of an emerging black middle class, the new government, although sometimes struggling at local level, is learning and improving every day, and crime rates are going down.

Having said that, we still have a long way to go.

Customer Reviews

The plot intertwines interesting and the characters very well drawn.
Carol
I would highly recommend that new readers start with DEVIL'S PEAK, a book that I will now go back to and read out of order.
Scott E. High
This book was not edge of the seat thrilling but the author kept it interesting with a good story and good characters.
John B. Goode

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on August 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Deon Meyer is a story teller. His descriptions of South African life and philosophy are vividly portrayed in "Seven Days."

Meyer isn't afraid to take on various aspects of South African landscape that other authors might hesitate to do. He digs into investments by black only owned businesses, politicians with links to the Communist Party and the difficulties seen by people fighting alcoholism.

The story begins with someone accusing the police department of a cover-up of the murder of Henneke Sloet-an attractive attorney who was stabbed to death in her luxury apartment.

South African homicide detective, Benny Griessel, is assigned to the case. He isn't sure where to start because the case seems to have no leads.

With the delay in the investigation, a sniper begins shooting policemen. The sniper sends an email to the police that he will continue to shoot police officers until they arrest the person who killed Sloet.

Benny is a member of the Hawks. This is an elite group of South African police officers who take on sensitive and high profile cases. He's a recovering alcoholic and, at the start of the case, is seeing a woman named Alexia. She is also an alcoholic who Benny is trying to help stay sober but his time spent on this case doesn't permit him the time to support her effort.

Benny's team learns that Henneke worked for a law firm that was involved in a major transaction with a black-only owned business. There are questions about the funding of this company and Benny's team investigates public pension funds and the manner in which members of their boards are selected.

Unlike many protagonists of police procedurals, Benny is a man with doubts about his abilities.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By David Keymer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Seven Days is another exceptional crime thriller from the pen of the talented South African writer Deon Meyer. Meyer's series protagonist, homicide detective Benny Griessel, has been assigned the lead in solving the brutal murder of an ambitious lawyer, Hanneke Sloet, stabbed to death in her luxury apartment. It has been weeks since the murder. No progress has been made in solving it; it's a near hopeless case, even for a seasoned detective like Benny. Then a sniper shoots a policeman and emails the police department: unless the police stop their cover up and reopen the investigation of the Sloet killing, the sniper will shoot one policeman a day. And so two investigations proceed on separate tracks: the one is headed by Benny, into the cold case murder of Hanneke Sloet; the other, the department's feverish attempt to capture the sniper before he escalates from wounding policemen to killing them, is headed by Meyer's other series hero(ine), Mbali Kaleni.

Benny and Mbali serve on an elite national police task force called the DPCI (Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations), commonly referred to as "the Hawks." The sophisticated resources the Hawks bring to bear on such cases are welcome but neither Benny nor Mbali has much experience working on a team. Both, for different reasons, are lone wolves, most comfortable working on their own.

Benny's long history of alcoholism has left him insecure about his own worth as a detective, much less as a human being. His wife has divorced him and remarried. He worries about losing his children as well. Now he seems on the verge of involvement with a woman who has insecurities as deeply rooted as his. Like him, she is a recovering alcoholic\: their coming together is far from a recipe for success, at least not an easy success.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Adele Wagener on October 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you want a quick, 'on the edge of your seat' thrilling read you can't go wrong with this. Perfect for a long haul flight.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A typical Deon Meyer thriller. Difficult to put down until you've finished it!

As a South African it's fascinating following the plot through familiar areas. Deon has researched his subject matter well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daan on October 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Meyer seems to have listened to some good advice, there are fewer sub-plots and the main plot moves rapidly and spellbindingly forward. Typical Meyer but his best so far.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By barnold on October 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is actually my husband that reads all Deon Meyers books, he thinks he is a superb writer with and intriging mind.

The plot for "7 Days" is really enthralling, and he has thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

Well done Deon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Wolf on October 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A gripping story consistent with but not quite up to the standard of Meyers previous novels with this theme and characters. Captures the post-aprtheid environment of South Africa as it exists in Cape Town.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dick Johnson VINE VOICE on January 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first of Meyer's books that I have read, but it won't be the last. I know little of South Africa and its people, but I am aware of some of the cultural problems it has had. As needed to develop the storyline and the characters, Meyer seemingly dealt with those issues fairly without using a sledgehammer.

The main character, Benny Griessel, is a cop caught between his old school background and the electronic age. It's his job to find a shooter who is insisting that the cops find the murderer of someone else. Yep. A story within a story.

The mystery element is well done with enough red herrings to supply a sizable fish-fry. What made the book so enjoyable to me was the cast of characters. The good gals and guys, the bad guys and gals, their families, their friends and their own problems added depth to the story.

I also enjoyed the pace of the book. Things went from hurried to a crawl and back to hurried - just like real life. The development of the story elements was smoothly handled and the story flowed to a conclusion with enough elements about the characters to lead to a series about Benny, et. al.

I recommend this to those who enjoy mysteries taking place in other countries and to those who have not yet explored the vast supply of such.
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