Previous reviews are at Mack Pitches Up

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Heart of the Hunter by Deon Meyer

I read this on a Kindle and it is a contribution to the 2010 Global Reading Challenge.

Thobela Mpayipheli,a quiet, honest, and dependable "great black man, tall and broad" working as gopher for a BMW motorcycle dealership in Cape town, South Africa. He is devoted to the woman and her son with whom he lives. He also has a past, one he is not ashamed of, but one he has left behind. The daughter of an old comrade comes to him with the story that her father is being held prisoner in Lusaka, Zambia and will be killed if a computer hard drive isn't delivered to his captors. Thobela's sense of honor says that he has to pay a debt but in doing so he risks the secure world he has created. Intelligence agents for the South African government try to intercept him and he is forced on a thousand mile race north pursued by an elite military reaction force anxious to prove itself in action.

Heart of the Hunter is a fast paced and exciting conspiracy chase thriller that put me in a "just one more chapter" state of mind so that I was up until 3am finishing it.

Besides the thrills of a hunt, the book has much more working for it. Thobela appears to be a simple man at first but by the end the reader has looked deep into his soul and seen a complex and conflicted man looking for peace. The author anchors the roots of the plot in the time of The Struggle, the fight against apartheid. When you consider that apartheid ended less than 20 years ago it isn't unlikely that actions that took place then have consequences now.

Heart of the Hunter will entertain but it will also give you a glimpse of what has formed modern day South Africa.