Meyer, Deon. Devil's Peak. Tr. from Afrikaans by K. L. Seegers. Little, Brown. Mar 2008. c.416p. ISBN 978-0-316-01785-5. $24.99. Fiction.

In his fourth thriller set in and around Cape Town, South African crime writer Meyer interweaves the stories of three desperate individuals. Thobela Mpayipheli, a former Xhosa assassin last seen in Heart of the Hunter, is unable to stop two gas station thieves from killing his stepson. Driven by vengeance and armed only with an assegai (a spear), he begins to track down the thieves. Unsuccessful at first, he expands his crusade to include those suspected of sexual crimes against children. As the bloody killings mount, Detective Inspector Benny Griessel, an alcoholic determined to stay sober in order to win back his wife and children, is assigned the assegai case. Meanwhile, Christine van Rooyen, a prostitute with a young daughter, tells a clergyman how she became involved with the local boss of a Columbian drug cartel. In time, the lives of all three will collide with devastating results. Readers will need a measure of patience to handle the quick jumps between stories and the half-page or so that it takes to figure out whose story is now center stage. Still, Meyer’s ability to probe the depths of his major characters makes this read well worth the effort. Recommended for public libraries.

Library Journal, 133, no. 5 (March 15, 2008), 60.

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