wmg-logo

Praise for Blood Safari and Deon Meyer

‘One of the sharpest and most perceptive thriller writers around.’

The Times

‘Blood Safari will take you to unexpected places, make you ponder interesting questions and stand in awe at the cruelty that human beings inflict upon each other.… A read that should not be missed under any circumstances.’

Cape Times (South Africa)

‘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, Meyer is your man.’

The Guardian

‘In unassuming, controlled, and occasionally mordant prose (which echoes the narrative voice of Lemmer himself), Meyer drops us, from the first sentence on, into his crime fiction Cape Town as though from a helicopter: we take in the vast expanse of the land as we fall, but once we’re grounded we’re right in the thick of it.’

National Post

‘A searingly good thriller set amid the horrifying politics and corruption of South Africa. Meyer has the knack of inhabiting every one of his extraordinary range of characters.… Don’t miss this.’

The Daily Mail

Also by Deon Meyer

Dead Before Dying

Dead at Daybreak

Heart of the Hunter

Devil’s Peak

PART ONE

1

I swung the sledgehammer in a lazy rhythm. It was Tuesday, 25 December, just past noon. The wall was thick and stubbornly hard. After each dull thump, shards of brick and cement broke off and shot across the plank floor like shrapnel. I felt sweat tracking through the dust on my face and torso. It was an oven in there, despite the open windows.

Between hammer blows I heard the phone ring. I was reluctant to break the rhythm. In this heat it would be hard to get the machine going again. Slowly, I put the long handle down and went through to the sitting room, feeling the shards under my bare feet. The phone’s little screen displayed JEANETTE. I wiped a grimy hand on my shorts and picked it up.

‘Jis.’

‘Merry Christmas.’ Jeanette Louw’s gravelly voice was loaded with inexplicable irony. As ever.

‘Thanks. Same to you.’

‘Must be good and hot out there …’

‘Thirty-eight outside.’

In winter she would say, ‘Must be nice and cold out there,’ with undisguised regret about my choice of residence. ‘Loxton,’ she said now, as if it were a faux pas. ‘You’ll just have to sweat it out, then. What do you do for Christmas in those parts?’

‘Demolish the wall between the kitchen and the bathroom.’

‘You did say the kitchen and the bathroom?’

‘That’s how they built them in the old days.’

‘And that’s how you celebrate Christmas. Old rural tradition, huh?’ and she barked out a single, loud ‘Ha!’

I knew she hadn’t phoned to wish me Happy Christmas. ‘You’ve got a job for me.’

‘Uh-huh.’

‘Tourist?’

‘No. Woman from the Cape, actually. She says she was attacked yesterday. She wants you for a week or so, paid the deposit already.’

I thought about the money, which I needed. ‘Oh?’

‘She’s in Hermanus. I’ll SMS the address and cell phone number. I’ll tell her you’re on your way. Call me if you have any problems.’

I met Emma le Roux for the first time in a beach house overlooking the Old Harbour of Hermanus. The house was impressive, three new Tuscan storeys of rich man’s playground with a hand-carved wooden front door and a door knocker in the shape of a lion’s head.

At a quarter to seven on Christmas night a young man with long curly hair and steel-rimmed spectacles opened the door. He introduced himself as Henk and said they were expecting me. I could see he was curious, though he hid it well. He invited me in and asked me to wait in the sitting room while he called ‘Miss le Roux’. A formal man. There were noises from deep in the house – classical music, conversation. The smell of cooking.

He disappeared. I didn’t sit down. After six hours’ drive through the Karoo in my Isuzu, I preferred to stand. There was a Christmas tree in the room, a big artificial one with plastic pine needles and mock snow. Multicoloured lights blinked. At the top of the tree was an angel with long, blonde hair, wings spread wide like a bird of prey. Behind her the curtains of the big windows were open. The bay was lovely in the late afternoon, the sea calm and still. I stared out at it.

‘Mr Lemmer?’

I turned.

She was tiny and slim. Her black hair was cut very short, almost like a man’s. Her eyes were large and dark, the tips of her ears slightly pointed. She looked like a nymph from a children’s story. She stood for a moment to take me in, the involuntary up-and-down look to measure me against her expectations. She hid her disappointment well. They usually expect someone bigger, more imposing – not this general average of height and appearance.

She came up to me and put out her hand. ‘I’m Emma le Roux.’ Her hand was warm.

‘Hello.’

‘Please sit down.’ She gestured at the suite in the sitting room. ‘Can I get you something to drink?’ Her voice had an unexpected timbre, as if it belonged to a larger woman.

‘No thanks.’

Вы читаете Blood Safari
Добавить отзыв
ВСЕ ОТЗЫВЫ О КНИГЕ В ИЗБРАННОЕ

0

Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату