STARRED REVIEW
April 07, 2020

The Last Hunt

By Deon Meyer

The sixth in Deon Meyer’s Detective Benny Griessel mysteries, The Last Hunt, splits its time—and chapters—between Griessel’s investigation of a murder aboard a luxury train and the recruitment of former revolutionary Daniel Darret to assassinate a corrupt South African president. The result is mystery, intrigue and riveting suspense.

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The sixth in Deon Meyer’s Detective Benny Griessel mysteries, The Last Hunt, splits its time—and chapters—between Griessel’s investigation of a murder aboard a luxury train and the recruitment of former revolutionary Daniel Darret to assassinate a corrupt South African president. The result is mystery, intrigue and riveting suspense.

Griessel and his seemingly always cynical (and somewhat humorous) partner Vaughn Cupido, both members of the elite South African Hawks police unit, are tasked with solving the gruesome murder of an ex-cop with the unusual name of Johnson Johnson, only to see their efforts stymied along the way by corruption. Meanwhile, Darret’s retirement as an apprentice furniture maker in France is upended when an old associate is killed by Russian spies who then set their sights on Darret, even as he takes up his friend’s cause.

The complex plot loses a bit of immediacy when Meyer switches from one storyline to the other, but after a few chapters it promptly sweeps you along again. Part of the fun is trying to discern how the two stories will connect and in anticipating the action-packed finale.

A resident of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Meyer handles the intricate plotlines with superb skill, proving why he is an internationally acclaimed, prize-winning author of 12 thrillers. The action alone is enough to keep you reading, but Meyer gives us multifaceted characters who are just as interesting. Griessel and Cupido share a camaraderie clearly built on their previous adventures together, though you don’t have to read the previous stories to appreciate it. When they’re not exclusively focused on the case at hand, their banter about how Griessel should propose to his girlfriend provides welcome relief. Darret, meanwhile, is tormented over leaving a life of calm and relaxation, having been thrust back into his former life.

Whether you’re in it for the mystery or for the action, The Last Hunt delivers on both counts.

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The Last Hunt

The Last Hunt

By Deon Meyer
Atlantic Monthly
ISBN 9780802156921

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