The Last Hunt

Mysterious Book Report No. 404

by John Dwaine McKenna

A series of fortunate events brought our attention this week, to an awesome crime fiction novelist and master of the thriller genre.  His work is inspired, captivating and totally entertaining as he weaves a complex plot together in such an electrifying manner that the reader just can’t put the book down.  If you’re craving an intricate, well-plotted suspense novel full of twists and turns that make you think, South African author Deon Myer has everything you’re looking for.  His newest, The Last Hunt, (Grove Atlantic, $27.00, 374 pages, ISBN 978-0-8021-5692-1) is his thirteenth, and most powerful novel to date, because it deals with political corruption at the national level and the kleptocracy which accompanies it.

The story begins when a cold case file is given to Captain Benny Griessel and his partner, Captain Vaughan Cupido of the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit of the South African Police Force.  It’s an elite group of criminologists, known simply as ‘The Hawks.’  When Cupido asks, “Why are we being tasked with something like this?”  The answer is succinct: “Because we are the best . . .” The Hawks are also the least corrupted, or ‘captured’ as the ones on the take are called.  That’s important.  Because the cold case murder of a private detective named Johnson Johnson on The Rovos—the world’s most luxurious train—as it journeys from Cape Town to Pretoria, is just the beginning of what turns out to be a deep dive into murder, political intrigue and the awakening of an entire nation to the notion that the ideals which sparked a revolution and set them free from apartheid . . . has been hijacked and sold out for greed.

At the same time that Griessel, Vaughan and the Hawks are trying to sort out the Johnson Johnson murder, a fifty-five year old South African man named Daniel Darret is living quietly in Bordeaux, France.  He’s working as a humble tradesman, apprenticing to a master antique restorer, trying to leave the revolutionary life he once led behind, and live out his days in quiet peace.  Then, out of the blue, a comrade from Daniel’s old life reappears and begs him to do one last job, using his special skill set to strike back at a corrupt regime.

Daniel Darret’s decision and his actions will collide with Griessel and Cupido’s murder investigation and lead to a stunning, electrifying and shattering conclusion that will leave the reader gasping for their next breath!

Deon Myer’s works have been translated into twenty-seven languages, made into several TV and movie dramas, and garnered a truckload of literary awards.  He’s an author that aspiring writers envy, and wish to be like when they grow up . . .

And as an added bonus, our interview with Mr. Meyer is attached.  We hope you enjoy it!

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