A headspinning thriller from crime writer Deon Meyer: the story of an ex-cop who has seven days to solve a seemingly unsolvable crime--the answer to which lies in his own dark past.
"Exciting....A terrific ride on almost every level." --Chicago Tribune
When Johannes Jacobus Smit, an antiques dealer, is found burned with a blowtorch and killed execution-style with a single shot to the back of the head, former cop Zatopek "Zed" van Heerden is called in to investigate the unusual circumstances of the murder. Zed is still obsessed with the betrayals of his own past but must fill in the blanks of this victim's life. Who tortured and killed Smit, and who was Smit in the first place? Not the man whose papers he carries, that much is certain. Zed can never be sure of the loyalties of the people with whom he is dealing--his own past reputation ensures that--and he soon finds himself uncovering secrets that the security services of many countries would like left alone.
South African crime writer Meyer's expertly crafted second thriller (after 2004's Heart of the Hunter) confirms his place as one of the genre's finest new stylists. Afrikaner Zatopek "Zet" van Heerden, a former cop, is slipping fast into drunken dissolution when a colleague pulls him up and gives him an opportunity. An attorney, Hope Beneke, needs a private investigator fast to find a missing will. An antiques dealer, Johannes Jacobus Smit, was recently found burnt with a blowtorch and shot execution-style, the contents of his walk-in safe, including his will, gone. Beneke and van Heerden have only seven days to find the document before Smit's considerable assets revert to the state, leaving his common-law wife destitute. It doesn't take long for van Heerden to discover that "Smit" wasn't the person whose papers he carried, and that someone very important, quite possibly the state itself, wants to hide his true identity. Meyer keeps the suspense moving throughout the third-person narrative, alternating back and forth with van Heerden's own first-person account of his past. This is a remarkable achievement from a singular new talent.