BlogTour #BookReview The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer

The Dark Flood Blog Tour_Twitter copy-2Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer, translated from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers. My thanks to Sophie at Ransom PR for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my advance review copy.  Do check out the post by my tour buddy for today, Little Miss Book Lover.

The Dark FloodAbout the Book

One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughan Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.

One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.

For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher.

For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.

Format: Hardback (416 pages)      Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 14th April 2022 Genre: Crime

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My Review

Although described by Wilbur Smith as ‘the undisputed champion of South African crime’ I confess the name Deon Meyer was completely new to me.

The Dark Flood is the seventh book in the series so it’s obvious there are aspects of Benny Griessel’s character and past history that will be familiar to readers of previous books but were completely new to me. The author has made him a very believable character with flaws as well as strengths. He’s a recovering alcoholic which has resulted in a strained relationship with his son Felix, although Benny is doing his best to support him financially through film school. Fortunately, Benny has found himself a very supportive partner in Alexa.  Professionally, he has a strong sense of justice, an eye for detail and an instinctive sense for when he’s being told – or more often, not being told – the truth. His rather rebellious attitude to authority is shared by his partner Vaughan Cupido. I really liked their relationship – the banter and the gentle teasing – and they fact they have complimentary skills. Vaughan is a like a firecracker when it comes to ideas, shooting off in every direction, while Benny is the one who can bring them together to form a picture.

The story switches frequently between the two plot lines – Benny and Vaughan’s missing persons investigation and Sandra’s dealings with Jasper Boonstra. Initially, the two story lines seem to have no connection but of course the author is cleverer than that and they do eventually converge, although not perhaps in the way you might expect. Benny’s oft-stated belief that there is no such thing as coincidence is surely a crime novelist’s in-joke.

There are some great female characters in the book, especially Sandra. I really felt for her as her preciarious financial situation and her desire to protect her family sees her become more and more drawn into Boonstra’s financial shenanigans with shocking consequences. Fortunately, help arrives from an unexpected quarter proving the saying that revenge is a dish best served cold.

For those who like a bit of action in their crime fiction, The Dark Flood is book-ended by two dramatic scenes. And those who love a final page twist or cliff-hanger won’t be disappointed either.

I found it easy to forget this is a translation although there were some Afrikaans words and phrases (mostly swear words as it turns out) that were unfamiliar to me. (There is a useful glossary.) I felt more knowledge about South African politics, the concept of state-capture and the geography of the country would have added to my appreciation of the subtleties of the plot.

The Dark Flood is a combination of skilfully crafted police procedural and insight into the murky world of political, institutional and financial corruption. It’s a series I would definitely look out for in the future.

In three words: Compelling, clever, suspenseful

Try something similar: A Memory for Murder by Anne Holt

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Deon MeyerAbout the Author

Award winning author and screenwriter, Deon Meyer, has written 14 novels, is published in 27 countries and is a multiple no.1 bestseller.  He has won several awards including the CWA International Dagger Award twice, the Barry Award in the US, the Deutsche Krimi Prize in Germany, the ATKV Prize in South Africa (four times), and Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Le Prix Mystère de la Critique in France. He was longlisted for the IMPAC Prize and selected as one of Chicago Tribune’s ’10 best mysteries and thrillers of 2004′. Deon has written five screenplays for film and two TV series. His books have been turned into two international TV series – Dead before Dying as the series Cape Town, and Trackers. All his other books are currently under option for films or TV series, with several in development. He directed one feature film. Deon is passionate about Mozart, mountain biking, motorcycles, cooking, Formula One racing, private aircraft and rugby. Deon lives in Stellenbosch with his wife Marianne. They have six children, three each from previous marriages. He is also a proud grandfather.

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