*Meyer, Deon. Heart of the Hunter. Little, Brown. July 2004. c.384p. ISBN 0-316-93549-2. $23.95. Fiction.

Thobela Mpayipheli, a descendent of Xhosa kings, has a past he would like to forget. A former assassin, he has settled down with a woman and her son in Cape Town. Then the daughter of an old friend comes to him for help: her father has been abducted in Lusaka, Zambia. In exchange for his life, the kidnappers want a computer disk that reveals the names of double agents and the identity of a mole in the upper echelons of the South African government—and they want it delivered to them within 72 hours. Thwarted in his attempt to fly out of the country, Thobela hops on a BMW motorcycle, and the chase is on. Will he be able to save his friend? Will the mole keep his or her identity a secret? Will Thobela, now the prey, ruin everything he has tried to become—a man of peace by reverting to the instincts of the hunter he was trained to be? Not all these questions have happy answers. Despite the complexity of its tightly woven plot—skillfully revealed through newspaper articles and intelligence reports—Meyer’s U.S. debut moves at a breathtaking pace that will carry readers away. A sympathetic protagonist and the landscape of South Africa add color to the story. Highly recommended for all public libraries.

LJ, 129, no. 9 (May 15, 2004), 115.

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