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The Last Hunt

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Member Reviews

A police procedural set in South Africa? Said procedural intercut with a Day of the Jackal-like political assassination plot? It was a delight! The cultural norms and history of South Africa spiced up both of the plot lines. Villains and heroes kept swapping positions and the investigation the death of a former secret service agent leads toward political corruption on a scale that is turning South Africa into a classic kleptocracy. Concurrently, an old fighter from the ANC days is drafted to make one more sacrifice for the Cause. Spy craft and technique vie with very human doubts and fears among all of the characters. In The Last Hunt, Deon Meyer gives us all of the above in spades. A great read.
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I have to start with saying, this was originally published in another language, under the name 'Prooi" and so the beginning, as you delve deep into the workings of these two interesting detectives, you may struggle with the writing, but don't loose faith in the continuity, as it does NOT disappoint. After page 78, I was hooked. 

Deon Meyer is a brilliant author. He has been on my TBR for a LONG time, and i have to admit, my lack of exposure prevented me from opening one. That is, until now. I am so glad I did. He absolutely has a new fan. 

The detective combo was great, even with the whole situation falling to pieces. The descriptions were fantastic, and I could envision the entire works playing out in front of me. The plot had a great flow, and I almost felt like I was opening a 2020 Agatha Christie. Our subject is thrown from a train, an Ex-cop, Johnson, and our duo detectives get pulled into a case they are less then thrilled to become involved in, two brilliant cops who have enjoyed their more simple lives on holiday.Their job is to find out what happened.  Were they working a murder? Or, is there more that weaves these two men intricately into this story.

I would absolutely recommend this book to other readers. The flow is wonderful, the descriptions with a touch of cultural beauty and the suspense make this worthy of your time. 

*Thank you NetGalley, The Publisher, and Deon Meyer for allowing me a Free Copy, in exchange of an honest review.
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The Last Hunt by Deon Meyer is a brilliant police procedural thriller. I am an avid fan of Mr. Meyer and have read all his books and reading this one was like coming home to family.

The story is complex and mature and very relevant to South Africa today. It’s easy to make the connections through his referencing yet it remains entertaining. 

I loved the settings of the books – having visited Cape Town, Paris and Amsterdam regularly, I love seeing those connections between people, place and event.

The character development bounces along through the personal challenges the main characters face, but it’s a smooth bounce. I have “grown up” with Bennie and Vaughn and they’re like my uncles now. The supporting characters add such a delicious flavour to the pot and I love them all.

A resounding “YES!” from me, and I look forward to the next one – I have a vested interest in Bennie and Vaughn’s love life!

#netgalley #thelasthunt #deonmeyer #groveatlantic
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Wanted .....   Ethical cop in a foreign milieu who in the face of pervasive adversity maintains his scruples .  Ever since the sorrowful passing of Philip Kerr there has been a gaping hole in my crime fiction enjoyment ....  I needed a replacement for the World War II exploits of Bernie Gunther.   And, along comes Deon Meyer's " The Last Hunt " featuring the impressive duo of Captain Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido, members of the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit ...  an elite force better known as the "Hawks".  This is my first foray into the oeuvre of Meyer and the eighth entry into his series featuring the South African Police Service (SAPS).  Simmering in the background are the implications of trying to police effectively in post-Apartheid South Africa.  The freedom "Struggle" of this nation eventually culminated in the first democratic, and multi-racial election in April 1994.  The Anti-Apartheid cause was locked into devastating conflicts ...  this social movement entailed not only passive resistance but at times guerrilla warfare.  The consequences leak into the forces and motivation of this convoluted tale.  Three storylines are told in juxtaposition..  seemingly unrelated, but eventually intersecting into an explosive and powerful denouement .   Griessel and Cupido are assigned a cold case that was botched by the local police. They are tasked with the investigation of a possible murder of an ex-cop Johnson Johnson.  Possibly murdered on the luxurious Rovos Train, running from Cape Town to Pretoria and tossed out and found trackside , With an investigation ensuing of 65 passengers, reminiscent  of "Murder on the Orient Express".   Eventually they discover Johnson was stabbed in back of the neck with an Okapi knife (deemed " A Saturday Night Special") and then thrown off the train.  Paralleling this investigation, is the questionable suicide of Menzi Dekela in his kitchen ...  called into question is his motivation considering his past as one of sixteen old fighters, former senior fighures in the Struggle. ....  Is the note authentic or forged ? ...  Where is the shell casing? ......  And thirdly, we find Daniel Darret living an anonymous sedate life under an assumed name in Bordeaux, France.  Once known as Thobela Mpayipheli, an accomplished sniper who earned his bones long ago , as a young participant in The Struggle. He's approached by a dear old friend, Lonnie May, and entreated to enter the fray one more time and strike a blow for South Africa.  
       A turbulent political scene still exists in South Africa. ....  leaked to the media is the suspicion that the state government is "captured" ... incriminating the president of the country and half of his cabinet ...  completely controlled and following the interest of three Indian billionaire  businessmen.  In the face of present day corruption the story unfolds. Meyer's narrative seamlessly flows through the eyes of multiple flawed but unforgettable characters.  Thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic Press for providing an electronic proof in exchange for an honest review.  Deon Meyer is now officially added to my list of preferred authors to read.
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4.5 Stars. I wish to offer my sincere thanks to NetGalley and Grove Atlantic for this suspenseful, exhilarating and informative crime thriller. I only became aware of Deon Meyer’s books set in and around Cape Town this month and had just finished the superb Devil’s Peak which compelled me to put all the Captain Griessel novels on my Must Read list. I was thrilled to receive an ARC of the Last Hunt in return for an honest review. 

This bold and searing portrait of South Africa’s turbulent political scene after the end of apartheid and the hopes under Mandela for an equitable and diverse democracy. Instead what happened in the timeline of this book is now regarded as ‘state capture’. A scandal-plagued president, bribery for government contracts by wealthy Indian brothers, corrupt state officials, along with the minister of police and director of public prosecution are all based on real people in ‘state capture’. Kleptocracy, bribery and greed are infecting every political institution and business from the top down. Anyone who struggled for a fair democracy, and anyone of honour who challenges the dire state of the country may face false charges, smear campaigns to ruin their reputation, loss of employment, and are in danger of being labelled traitors. 

Captain Benny Griessel and his partner, Cupido, are members of the elite Serious and Violent Crime Unit known as the Hawks. They are working in troubled times when they receive a cold case. It involves the death of an ex-policeman who later worked for a security agency, and was aboard a luxury train as a private bodyguard. His body was thrown off the train. The local police handled the case poorly and the scene was contaminated. No useful information is available. It becomes clear to Benny and Cupido that he was murdered, but higher officials have labelled it a suicide. After many interviews, the two Hawk detectives suspect two older men who were on the train under false identities and both have vanished.  The head of the Hawks, Lieutenant Colonel Kaleni orders a secret investigation which may destroy their reputations and careers. 

Meanwhile, a man named Daniel Durret is leading a quiet life in France. He is finding contentment crafting fine wooden furniture. Why is his story alternating with that of Benny and Cupido in Cape Town? His life is shattered by a visit from an old friend which makes him question his present peaceful life, his past, and future commitments. Their stories collide in a thrilling, action-packed conclusion.

While the investigations of Benny Griessel and his partner lead them further into the depths of State corruption, we get some insight into their private worries. Cupido wants to marry his present love but her son believes that his whole unit is ‘captured’ and that he is dishonest. Benny, a recovering alcoholic, is living with a woman who is likewise a recovering alcoholic.  He has bought an engagement ring but is afraid to propose, dreading that a refusal will drive him back into a perpetual state of drunkenness. 

 This is a gripping, enthralling tale with glimpses of the truth amidst a fictional crime story. Well plotted and complex, and with flawed but unforgettable characters. A highly recommended series.
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The Last Hunt is the eight part of the popular series about Captain Benny Griessel. Griessel and his partner, Vaughn Cupido and fellow member of the Hawks elite police unit in South Africa, end up with a cold case dossier about the disappearance of ex-cop Johnson Johnson. Meanwhile, Daniel Darret has settled into a new, quiet life in Bordeaux, far from his native South Africa and his revolutionary past. But he is overtaken by his past. Then there's a third storyline about Benny's marriage proposal to Alexa, which unfortunately doesn't add much to the story. Also, Deon Meyer's writing style is very detailed, which slows down the pace of the story and results in a lack of suspense. The Last Hunt is an enjoyable thriller for the Griessel fans, but isn't really gripping or captivating the reader.
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Since there are lots of helpful reviews already out there, I'll just say that this is a solid thriller. It's my first Meyer novel and I'm impressed. Recommended. 

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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ARC from Net Galley

I am so glad that I have just received his first 7 books in hard-copy, because if they are like this one I am in the READ!!!!!!

Translated, but nothing lost in it, as it is everything you want in a crime novel with Russian spies, drought, a hit man and the feel of riding with them than reading about them.  Way better than the average fare!!!
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Brilliant read! Brimming with action from beginning to end. Deon and Bennie is back with a bang! This was one of the best books for me in the Bennie Griessel series. Bennie is getting his life back on track. He is riding his bike and living a healthier life. 

A body is found next to the train tracks near Drie Susters. Bennie and his sidekick Cupido is put in charge of the investigation. The body belongs to Johnson Johnson who disappeared of a luxury train a few days before. Did he jump from the train or are there more sinister forces at play? 

The book takes you on a whirlwind ride from France to South Africa to France and back. The storylines seem unrelated but are they really? Who is Daniel Darret and who is looking for him and why? 

The main focus of this book is state capture. Something that is very relevant in South Africa at the moment and a very hot topic. Deon takes quite a strong stance against corruption in the book without naming anyone outright but if you have a good knowledge of South African politics it is quite easy to see who he is referencing.

A book that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the beginning to the end! I can see a movie in the future. 

And finally.....will Bennie pluck up the courage to propose to Alexa? 

Thank you to #netgalley and #groveatlantic for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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