From the author of Thirteen Hours - A Sunday Times '100 best crime novels and thrillers since 1945' pick
Why would a mathematics professor from Cambridge University, renting a holiday home outside Cape Town, require a false identity and three bodyguards? And where is he, now that they are dead? The only clue to the bodyguards' murder is the snake engraved on the shell casings of the bullets that killed them.
Investigating the massacre, Benny Griessel and his team find themselves being drawn into an international conspiracy with shocking implications. It seems it is not just the terrorists and criminals of Britain and South Africa who may fear the Professor's work, but the politicians too.
As the body count begins to spiral viciously, Benny must put his new-found love life aside and focus on finding the one person who could give him a break in the case: a teenage pickpocket on the run in the city. But Benny is not the only person hunting for Tyrone Kleinbooi . . .
Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, COBRA is a relentlessly suspenseful, topical and richly rewarding novel from an author who is acclaimed around the world as a brilliant voice in crime fiction.
Meyer's assured fourth Bennie Greissel thriller (after 2012's Seven Days) takes the Cape Town homicide detective to South African wine country, where the British citizen Paul Morris has been kidnapped. At the guesthouse where Morris was staying, his two bodyguards lie dead, each of them shot in the head. Near the bodies are shell casings, each etched with the head of a cobra. Back in Cape Town, the amiable cutpurse Tyrone Kleinbooi, who's devoted to putting his sister through medical school, becomes a target of the same cobra killers after picking the wrong pocket. Suspense builds as the action shifts between Greissel's and Tyrone's increasingly life-threatening exploits. On a lighter note, Afrikaans expressions season the story (a glossary is included), and there are practical lessons in the art of pickpocketing. The novel's only flaw is the abrupt ending, which leaves at least one character's fate unresolved.