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Trackers Hardcover – September 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Trackers

One of Kirkus Reviews Best Thrillers of the Year

“In his seventh novel, the king of South African crime fiction outdoes himself, packing in enough plot to power three separate novels. … Aside from masterfully juggling intricate plot details and ripping off some bloodcurdling action scenes, Meyer lays bare more ruthlessly than ever before the chaos that lurks beneath South Africa’s new identity ... Meyer has few equals when it comes to combining biting social critique and riveting action scenes. —Booklist (starred review)

“Meyer’s ambition matches his execution in this brilliantly complex standalone thriller set in his native South Africa. … This powerhouse read, which captures the many facets of modern South Africa, should be the American breakthrough this talented author deserves.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Award-winning crime fiction author Meyer demonstrates his superb gift for bringing together several disparate plots, striking characters, and vividly drawn scenes of contemporary South Africa, all roaring toward a climax with more than one surprise. … page-turning suspense and riveting mystery. Highly recommended.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“In his native South Africa … Meyer is a bigger hitter than his namesake Twilight author, whom he jokes is his cousin. His books regularly slay the vampire romances in the charts, with their gritty realisations of the seamier side of South African life.”—The Bookseller

“The ‘King of South African Crime’ has spun another intricate tale of intrigue, adventure, and crime.”—Deadly Pleasures

“Meyer’s punch lies in the authenticity and depth of his characters. And he has his finger on the pulse of modern South Africa. This is what makes Trackers a winner.”—Die Volksblad (South Africa)

“A cleverly constructed story – and a great adventure.”—Beeld (South Africa)

“This is a book you can only put down with great difficulty.”—Die Burger (South Africa)

"Trackers is technically probably the most challenging an author can attempt. But Meyer does it with consummate ease. With this book, I truly believe, he has now risen head and shoulders above what has been done in the crime genre internationally.”—Rapport (South Africa)

"[A] brilliant and intricately plotted thriller far beyond ordinary genre fiction. Trackers is an ambitious novel that opens a window into the people, the problems, and the landscapes of South Africa. Tense action scenes, unrelenting suspense, and a phenomenal cast of characters ranging from farmers and conservationists, to outlaws and intelligence agents, make it abundantly clear why Mr. Meyer has been crowned the 'King of South African crime.'"—New York Journal of Books

"A boon for the mystery/thriller connoisseur weary of the same old … backdrop, Meyer’s South Africa is palpable, a world at once achingly beautiful yet torn still by deep-seated racial hatred and injustice. … Trackers is a thick, meaty mystery … full of twists and subplots.”—Shelf Awareness

"In the second decade of the 21st century, some of the most compelling contemporary crime-fiction novels are either set in or coming from Africa. Much as Scandinavia became associated with the genre a few years back -- thanks in large part to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy -- Africa may become a new capital of literary crime. … Just as the works of James Ellroy and Carl Hiaasen dig beneath the glitter and glamour of Hollywood and South Beach, respectively, to reveal a nasty, fetid underside, [Trackers goes] beyond nightly news pictures of deprivation and desperation."—Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"An action-packed story that embraces the full problems, rough landscape and diverse peoples of South Africa."-The Lincoln Journal Star

"Once again, Deon Meyer creates a vivid and sometimes frightening look at life in contemporary South Africa, which serves as the background for a real can’t-put-it-downer of a thriller. In the course of his six previous novels, each of which has been more exciting than the previous one, he has continued to expand his plotting and characters. This is his most complex and intricate novel yet, filled with twists and ironies and a series of surprises in the conclusion that make it all work."—Mary Whipple,

"[Meyer's]outdone himself in Trackers, which is certain to top any mystery reader’s best-of-2011 list. This riveting tale has everything from a pair of rhinos to a coven of spies... You will not stop reading this book from the opening line: “Some days leave no tracks …” to the final word." --The Globe and Mail (Canada)

“Splendid… Astutely drawn… Trackers is a sprawling, invigorating and socially committed crime novel.”—Barry Forshaw, The Independent (UK)

About the Author

Deon Meyer lives in Durbanville in South Africa with his wife and four children. Other than his family, Deon's big passions are motorcycling, music, reading, cooking and rugby. In January 2008 he retired from his day job as a consultant on brand strategy for BMW Motorrad, and is now a full time author. Deon Meyer's books have attracted worldwide critical acclaim and a growing international fanbase. Originally written in Afrikaans, they have now been translated into twenty-five languages. THIRTEEN HOURS was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger and won the Boeke Prize in South Africa - the first time in the prize's 16 year history that a South African book has won. Visit the author's website at and follow him on Twitter @MeyerDeon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; First Edition edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780802119933
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802119933
  • ASIN: 080211993X
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many thrillers are about saving humanity, not necessarily inhabiting it. Maverick heroes are replicated from types previously established in classic iconic stories. Villains are cut from generic, barbaric cloth--the more psychopathic and gruesome, the better. Character and language are sacrificed for plot and standard themes, and the admirable hero/ine (or noble anti-hero/ine) saves the world. Gosh, with the hundreds of thrillers published each year (month?), the human race is lucky to be alive.

Enter the intelligence and nuance of South African novelist, Deon Meyer, whose arresting thrillers open and close with crackle and character. The plot doesn't proceed without the evanescence and development of his mosaic cast. Each primary protagonist of the three distinct stories in TRACKERS has an enigmatic personality, a moral imperative, and palpable inner conflicts--and Meyer winds the three plots into a robust and ropy overlap. Plot and story move in tandem with character, and discovery is united with exposure.

Characters are the key to open every dark path and locked password. The veld shimmers; you'll be Wiki-ing the Great Karoo and the black rhino. You won't want it to end. That's assured--you will be breathless for more--for the next page, the subsequent chapter, the following installment. Meyer created a hybrid of stand-alone and series--a few characters from former novels, and at least one that isn't done yet. One track in each.

TRACKERS is Meyer's most complex, tightly controlled, and literary novel to date, with an ending so exhilarating yet sublime that you will be contemplating it long after the last page.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book immensely, but I did find it somewhat confusing. It's amazing how Deon Meyer manages to tie his multiple subplots and characters together.

The book keeps changing. In the beginning I thought it was an espionage thriller because we start out observing the crazy goings on in the South African Presidential Intelligence Unit.

But then the plot shifts to other scenes, with other players, again and again. For a while it's a story about smuggling endangered black rhinos into South Africa. At times it's a story about terrorists and diamond smuggling. Then there's a plot to retrieve stolen money from dangerous gangsters. There's a missing person case that turn into something much bigger. There are glimpses of love stories. There are career crises and personal crises.

One of the most fun characters, a crooked anthropologist, expounds on his theory of chaos: "For fourteen thousand years we have been headed for chaos..." He imagines he can use the chaos to his advantage. Certainly the author makes wonderful use of chaos in this book.

This novel presents us with a plethora of action heroes, clever women, lovable crooks, unlovable spooks, and appalling gangsters. The heroes are hunting the criminals, the criminals are hunting anyone who crosses them, and the spooks are hunting real and imagined foes. Everyone is a tracker of sorts.

A Deon Meyer novel is always a great reading experience if you like lots of action and appreciate good character development. My favorite so far is Heart of the Hunter. I found Trackers challenging to follow, but undeniably entertaining.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MonsterWrangler on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I received an audio version of this book from Library Thing and was a little intimidated by the 16 hour run time; I guess I should have gone for a road trip. The author was unknown to me but I am going to look into his other work. This is one of those books that is essentially 3 stories that are all related in some way. I liked the characters and the pace of the book as it never left me board. It was very engaging and I ended up just stopping what I was doing for the last hour or so for the conclusion, which was satisfying, but left unanswered questions. I would hope that future projects shed some light on these. Well worth the time. As a fan of thrillers this was a bit out of the ordinary with the setting in a very foreign place and the stories very focused with a little current events tossed in.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ted Feit VINE VOICE on January 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Bringing back two characters from previous novels, the South African author has written a complicated story with three separate plots which are related both in circumstances and the people involved. One theme involves what appears to be a Muslim plot, which a government intelligence service suspects at first to be a tradeoff between the smuggling of diamonds in exchange for weapons. A second, an offshoot of the smuggling operation by a man seeking to recover a large sum of money he claims was stolen from him by gangsters (who incidentally are involved in the smuggling operation).

Then there is free-lance bodyguard Lemmer, who makes his second appearance in a Deon Meyer novel [the first being "The Blood Safari"], who becomes involved indirectly in the smuggling operation when he accompanies a truck bearing two black rhinos into South Africa from a neighboring country which the gangsters believe is the method for bringing in the diamonds. And finally Mat Joubert, the enigmatic South African detective, now retired, on his first day working for a private detective agency, who manages to bring all the threads together.

This stand-alone thriller aims high, and largely achieves its ambitions. Adding to the spice is not only the author's ability to portray the social, economic and political background of South Africa in depth, but a chilling look at how it is also a place where terrorists can run rampant. And, icing on the cake, a first-rate mystery to keep the reader enthralled. Highly recommended.
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