Deon Meyer is one of my favourite crime writers and the rest of the world likes him too. His books have been translated into 17 languages and he has won numerous prizes in South Africa and abroad. He bases most of his books in Cape Town, which makes them more pertinent if you are familiar with Cape Town.
7 Days brings Meyer’s favourite detective back onto the scene, Benny Griessel. Benny is what a detective should be in the crime genre – a recovering alcoholic haunted by his cravings for alcohol who throws himself into his work, obsessing about whatever case he’s working on.
In this book, Griessel’s brought in by the South African Police Services when they receive an email saying: I’ll shoot a policeman every day until you arrest the murderer of Hanneke Sloet. The trouble is that the case had never been solved and the murderer of the ambitious lawyer had never been found. Griessel is ordered to reopen the case and find the murderer.
As the sniper stays good to his word and starts shooting policemen, the pressure on Griessel mounts to solve the seemingly impenetrable case. At the same time, his tentative relationship with a former pop star grows as he promises to make sure she stays sober for her comeback. Griessel’s investigations lead him into the worlds of corporate greed and organised crime while he tries to solve the puzzle.
Griessel’s colleagues in the police service are well portrayed, particularly the delightful Captain Mbali Kaleni who is determined to track down the sniper.