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Afrikaans title: Infanta (2005). Translated by K. L. Seegers, 2007. First published in English: 2007. Hodder & Stoughton, 2008 (paperback). 410 pages. ISBN: 978-0-340-82266-1
Devil’s Peak unfolds in three parallel narratives. On the one side we find the story of Thobela Mpayipheli, a former freedom fighter, who turns into a vigilante when his young son is killed during a store robbery. On another side the story of Benny Griessel, an alcoholic policeman whose wife has kicked him out of their home after having beaten her. He is close to loose his family, his house and his job. In between them the story of Christine van Rooyen a young mother who has become a sex worker to support her daughter.
But this book is much more than these three stories and how they finally converge. It also provides a magnificent panorama of present day South Africa, with some reflections on the consequences our own decisions together with some considerations about the shortcomings of our justice system.
Devil’s Peakkeeps you totally enthralled by the almost constant changes between the three plots. Thus requires the full attention of the reader, but the effort is worth it. It’s a superb thriller. The only drawback I’ve found is that some scenes towards the end are a bit difficult to believe. But all in all is a great read, just shy of the maximum score.
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.
I count this book for the 2011 Global Reading Challenge(Africa).
Devil’s Peak has been reviewed at Euro Crime, Mysteries in Paradise, Crime Scraps, Reactions to Reading, reviewing the evidence,
El pico del diablo de Deon Meyer
Traducción de Alberto Coscarelli. RBA Libros, Serie Negra, 2010. 464 páginas. ISBN: 978-84-9867-771-3
El pico del diablose divide en tres relatos paralelos. Por un lado nos encontramos con la historia de Thobela Mpayipheli, un ex combatiente por la libertad, que se convierte en “vigilante” cuando su hijo es asesinado durante un robo en una tienda. Por otro lado la historia de Benny Griessel, un policía alcohólico cuya mujer le ha echado de su casa después de haberla golpeado. Está a punto de perder su familia, su casa y su trabajo. Entre ellos, la historia de Christine van Rooyen una joven madre que se ha convertido en un profesional del sexo para mantener a su hija.
Pero este libro es mucho más que estas tres historias y sobre la forma en que finalmente convergen. Nos proporciona además una magnífica panorámica de la Sudáfrica, actual y contiene algunas reflexiones sobre las consecuencias de nuestras propias decisiones, junto con algunas consideraciones sobre las deficiencias de nuestro sistema de justicia.
El pico del diablo te mantiene completamente cautivado por los cambios casi constantes entre las tres historias. Por lo tanto exige toda la atención del lector para no perderse, pero el esfuerzo merece la pena. Es un thriller magnífico. El único inconveniente que le he encontrado es que algunas de las escenas finales me han parecido poco creibles. Pero en general se trata de una gran lectura que apenas se queda algo por debajo de la máxima puntuación.
Deon Meyer vive en Durbanville en Sudáfrica con su esposa y sus cuatro hijos. Aparte de su familia, sus grandes pasiones son las motos, la música, leer, cocinar y el rugby. En enero de 2008 dejó su trabajo como consultor de estrategia para dedicarse profesionalmente sólo a escribir.
14 thoughts on “Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer”
José Ignacio – I’m so glad you enjoyed this novel as much as you did. One of the things I really like about Deon Meyer is that he’s able to combine the pace of the thriller with the character development that you don’t always find in thrillers. Fine, fine review!
Thank you Margot for your kind words. Fully agree with you regarding Meyer’s ability to combine the pace of a thriller with character development.
another author I need to try and I have heard so much about his books…..I have a copy of his newest, Trackers. I guess I will start there. Thanks!
Thanks Keishon, I’m looking forward to your review of Trackers, which I don’t want to miss either.
I think your review is very astute, Jose Ignacio. I too had a few problems with parts of the denouement, and often do with books that are at least in part thriller and depend upon action scenes at the end. Most of these I find utterly confusing or simply not credible, no matter who may be the author. But with Meyer I really don’t care about that, for his books as a whole are first-class and, as you note, give much pause for thought and bear careful reading. My thanks also for your blog, Jose Ignacio — it gives me great pleasure.
Philip,.your comment provides me with much encouragement to continue with this blog. Truly appreciate your kind words. Thank you very much.
Ah, finally my blog roll has noticed that you do write new posts.
Thank you for this review which I could read and enjoy with a good conscience as Deon Meyer is already on my TBR 😀
Glad to hear that Dorte. I hope you’ll enjoy Devil’s Peak as much as I did.
Jose Ignacio: I read Meyer’s book, Blood Safari, and was not sure I would read another. After seeing your review I will try him again.
Thanks for the compliment, Bill