On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the new novel by Deon Meyer, The Dark Flood.
One last chance. Almost fired for insubordination, detectives Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido find themselves demoted, exiled from the elite Hawks unit and dispatched to the leafy streets of Stellenbosch. Working a missing persons report on student Callie de Bruin is not the level of work they are used to, but it’s all they get. And soon, it takes a dangerous, deeply disturbing turn.
One last chance. Stellenbosch is beautiful, but its economy has been ruined by one man. Jasper Boonstra and his gigantic corporate fraud have crashed the local property market, just when estate agent Sandra Steenberg desperately needs a big sale. Bringing up twins and supporting her academic husband, she is facing disaster. Then she gets a call. From Jasper Boonstra, fraudster, sexual predator and owner of a superb property worth millions, even now.
For Sandra, the stakes are high and about to get way higher.
For Benny Griessel, clinging to sobriety and the relationship that saved his life, the truth about Callie can only lead to more trouble.
The Dark Flood is the first novel I’ve read by Deon Meyer and I think I’ve definitely been missing out. Set in South Africa, it felt very different and fresh to the thrillers I usually read, and the setting really drew me into Detective Benny Griessel’s world. Deon Meyer is a master at capturing a real sense of place and this is what made this book all the more enjoyable for me.
Although this is book number eight in this series, I felt I could follow the story easy, without having read the previous books. Although it can be read as a standalone, I do think I would have benefited from reading the previous books in the series to understand some sections of the story, but mostly I could enjoy it without the previous background information. Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes and the tension. The action gets going right on the first page and my attention was immediately captured. It felt as though I was watching an action film as I read the opening scenes.
Deon Meyer has weaved together a very complex plot and I thought it was brilliantly executed. There are a couple of different strands to this story. Benny and his work partner, Capt. Vaughan Cupido are tasked with investigating the disappearance of a university student, after almost facing the sack. We also meet Sandra Steenberg, a real estate agent, who is in dire need of a commission. It appears that she is willing to do anything to get what she needs for her failing company. The tension for both sets of characters is on the rise.
Deon Meyer is a writer who knows how to raise the stakes for his characters. You can see how Benny and his partner seem to be at the end of the line with their careers, particularly with what they have recently become caught up in. We also have the stakes rising for Sandra and you can see just how much pressure she is under and how it is affecting her personally.
It did make me wonder if there would be any connection at all between Sandra’s story and Benny and Vaughan’s, but you can see just how skilled Deon Meyer is at plotting, and how he pulls the different strands together. I thought it was very well done.
The characters are all very well developed and I could follow each of their stories easily as I was reading this book. I liked how Deon Meyer delved into their individual stories, which fleshed their characters out, and made them come to life on the page. I also loved how he brought the landscape to life as well, which was part of what made this book feel very fresh to me as well. I thought, especially the use of the Afrikaans words really made it feel authentic.
The Dark Flood is a very engaging read and I am keen to try out more of Deon Meyer’s work in the future.
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 14th April 2022
Print length: 416 pages
The Dark Flood is available to buy:
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