100 World Class South Africans: Deon Meyer

Brilliantly thrilling

The Scandinavians have a reputation for excellent crime fiction.

So one gets a little kick of satisfaction to know that Deon Meyer has twice snatched the Martin Beck Award – handed out by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers – from under the noses of the locals.

He’s also won awards in Germany and France, and been nominated for the UK’s delightfully named International Dagger Award three times.

Thirteen Hours won the prestigious Barry Prize in the US for best thriller of 2011, which means Hollywood’s come knocking … The ‘godfather of SA crime fiction’ started out as a journalist for Die Volksblad, and this background – plus months of research in real police stations and forensics labs – has served him well.

His books have authentic, familiar settings and characters, but he’s always at pains to point out that his gripping thrillers are not a true reflection of our society, ‘just a small window with a restricted view’.

It was only in his 30s that this biking fanatic traded in a dream job at BMW Motorcycles to write.

His second novel proved to be a breakthrough hit; since then Deon’s written a book a year, more or less, and all have been translated – into some 25 languages – to share with the world.

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