Someone in Cape Town has chosen a conspicuous murder weapon -- a century-old German handgun, with ancient bullets that tear through flesh and bone. Three men who have nothing in common are found murdered, and the string of vicious killings pushes the city toward panic. Captain Mat Joubert is left scrambling for answers in a case that might be his last chance to prove that his life's slow spiral will not pull him under. DEAD BEFORE DYING is a heart-racing thriller about a troubled detective determined to find the single thread that weaves together what is otherwise just an assortment of strangers, dead by the same hand. PRAISE FOR DEON MEYER: This guy is really good. Deon Meyer hooked me with this one right from the start. Heart of the Hunter is a thriller with some weight attached, and that is a rare find. -- Michael Connelly, author of Echo Park Nothing is more exciting than a new voice in the thriller arena....Dead at Daybreak is a terrific ride on almost every level. -- Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune
South African journalist Meyer's first novel, his third to be released in the U.S. (after 2005's Dead at Daybreak), is a gritty existential tale with enough muscle for thriller fans and noir aficionados alike. Mat Joubert, a 34-year-old Cape Town detective, has slipped into a downward spiral two years after his wife, a fellow cop, is killed in the line of duty. Complicating matters is his newly appointed boss, Bart de Wit, a bureaucrat determined to make a name for himself in the "new" South Africa, who sends Joubert to a shrink for counseling. Joubert's opportunity at redemption comes as he investigates a bizarre series of murders committed with a century-old Mauser pistol used by the Afrikaners in the Boer war. The killer even uses vintage cartridges. Trouble is, the murders appear to be completely random and unrelated. As Joubert closes in on the killer, the plot takes an unexpected turn that will shock readers. While not up to the standard of his later Dead at Daybreak, this remains a bold, character-driven page-turner.