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Trackers Hardcover – September 6, 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 123 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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, MaryWhippleReviews.com

"[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 www.deonmeyer.com 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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,866 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 20, 2011
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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My purpose here is simply to relate my very favorable reactions to this author's books and how I think I came to them. The school of book reviewing that focuses on discussion of plot lines and characters portrayed is one I dropped out of long ago. I am now on my fourth Deon Meyer book and only with difficulty did I tear myself away to write this review. The three I have finished are Trackers, Thirteen Hours and Seven Days. There was no order in mind as I bought them. Each book so far has fitted neatly into either police procedural genre or the broad spy/thriller category. But Amazon lists for sale over 15,000 of the former type and 267,000 of the latter. So far, for my money, Deon Meyer ranks in the top 1% of the top 1% in both categories. Whatever differences separate the three I've finished so far, they all rate 5+ stars in both quality and pleasure afforded; they earn my strongest positive recommendation.

About thirty pages into to each of these books, I said to myself, "I haven't read anything of this type so good in at least a year, not since the last one by ...xyz". And for each Meyer title a different favorite author came to mind. Meyer vies with Lee Child in creating vivid characters of simple, direct interest and gut-wrenching moral force and clarity. And for Child only Jack Reacher reaches this Olympian level; I can think of four such vibrant characters in my first three Meyer books, and any of them could (and I hope will) support a long-running series. The second author Meyer brought to mind is Michael Connelly and his Bosch books. The plotting in both men's books is intricate but water-tight, with action tightly linked to characterization and details that are never flashy or implausible. The third writer Meyer's books have evoked for me is Louise Penny.
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