The fourth crime novel by Deon Meyer to be translated from Afrikaans into English, Devils’ Peak (2007), is the first that features Benny Griessel, an alcoholic police officer whose wife has kicked him out of the house. Getting his life back won’t be easy for this detective inspector of Cape Town’s Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, because there is a vigilante killer on the loose – a ruthless executioner with a personal vendetta against the scum committing crimes against children. With the media screaming, politicians turning up the heat, his young, inexperienced colleagues bumbling, and the body count rising, Griessel has to resort to the desperate measure of setting a trap. But his brilliant plan does not quite take into account the love of a sex worker for her child, the ruthlessness of the deadly Sangrenegra drug cartel or his own passion for the healing powers of the bottlom (adapted from http://www.deonmeyer.com/books/devils_peak.html).
“If you want a glimpse of the soul of the new South Africa in all its glory, and with all the gory details of its problems and corruption, Devil’s Peak does the job: it reflects the country’s spiralling crime rate and particularly the dramatic increase in child rape, which is influenced by the pervasive myth that it can cure men of Aids. The novel interweaves the story lines of three characters: Thobela, an assegai-wielding avenger who kills anyone guilty of harming children; Benny, an alcoholic cop heading the team hunting for him; and Christine, a call girl Benny uses to set a trap. Its two powerfully drawn protagonists, Benny and Christine, work their way towards each other over the course of the novel, with the author giving expert tugs to the reins to keep them on course” (Matthew Lewin, The Guardian).