A riveting thriller from the acclaimed “King of South African crime” and the author of Blood Safari: “Deon Meyer is one of the unsung masters” (Michael Connelly).
Deon Meyer is a world-class writer whose page-turning thrillers probe the social and racial complexities of his native country. In Cobra, a famous English mathematician is kidnapped and his two bodyguards are killed at a guesthouse in the beautiful wine country outside Cape Town. It’s clearly a professional hit, and the spent shell cases offer a chilling clue: each is engraved with the head of a spitting cobra.
Meanwhile, in the city, a skilled thief is using his talents to put his sister through college. But he picks the wrong pocket, grabbing the wallet of a young American woman delivering something very valuable and dangerous to South Africa. The thief not only becomes the target of the deadly hit man known as the Cobra, but unwittingly holds the key to stopping a deadly international threat. It’s up to Captain Benny Griessel and his elite investigation team to find the pickpocket and track down the Cobra as the novel hurtles toward a brilliant, heart-stopping finale on the suburban commuter trains.
“Mr. Meyer, the leading thriller writer in his native country, traffics in crime-novel situations familiar the world over: drunken cops, charming robbers, dangerous murderers, sudden violence—and sometimes, issues of race.” —The Wall Street Journal
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.