Monday, August 6, 2012

Read: "Trackers" by Deon Meyer

Read: Trackers by Deon Meyer, 2011 (2010 in SA), 9780802119933.

Another novel for argument that fiction is often more informative and truthful than nonfiction.  Modern South Africa and it's trouble with corruption, race, politicians, smuggling, African turmoil, class, and crime.  This is told through three interlocking story lines.  A great job by Meyer and his translator; Meyer even calls the translator, Laura Seegers, "brilliant".  I very briefly spoke to Meyer at Bouchercon to tell him I like his books.

Milla Strachen is 40-years-old and just left her louse of a husband.  She has been a housewife almost 20 years but gets a job with an intelligence agency and her cover is a journalist.  Milla joins a storyline involving Muslim extremists in Cape Town.  Extremists are planning to smuggle in...something.  Weapons?  A terrorist plot?  The intelligence agency thinks so.

Lemmer, from Blood Safari, is revisited.  He still lives in a rural part of western SA and a wealthy local farmer wants to hire him.  Job is to escort black rhinos from Zimbabwe to Wealthy Farmer's place.  Rhinos are being imported as breeding pair.  Lemmer and the truck are briefly hijacked and searched.  What were hijacker's looking for?

The other two story lines mostly resolve themselves and then the third starts.  Recently retired policeman Mat Joubert has taken a job with a private agency in Cape Town.  The firm is hired to look into a husband's disappearance from several months ago.  Husband's absence is quite the mystery.  No sign Husband had a girlfriend or just took a walk.  Joubert looks.  Joubert frets over agency's emphasis on billing.  Joubert frets that Wife's deposit to agency will be spent before he can find out what happened.  Joubert figures it out.  Lemmer makes late appearance and provides more resolution.

1.  A lot happens and Meyer use all 475 pages.
2.  SA's name was mud for so many years.  Post-Apartheid issues of crime and corruption continue.  Racial politics continue.  So many people want to keep moving on and improving.
3.  Roger Smith's and Meyer's cape Town books dovetail so well together.  Smith cover's the nastiness and brutality of gangs on the dusty flats outside the city.  Meyer shows the Afrikaaner life.
4. We've got another book at the library by a third author, Cape Greed.  I need to read that.

No comments: