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Fever – Deon Meyer

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So, the first month of 2018 is nearly at an end.  For the last few years I have done the Good Reads reading challenge.  The first two years I read the amount of books I challenged myself to do so.  Last year, disappointingly I didn’t read what I challenged myself.  Maybe moving homes had something to do with it and adjusting to changes.  Such is life.  Anyway, this year, although it’s early days, I am on track.  I have settled into my new home, and have been reading more again, so I am a happy bookworm once more.  Fever was one of the last books I read in December, and it warranted a review, so here it is.fever 2

Deon Meyer writes South African crime thrillers, which delve  into the often bloodthirsty criminal world of this country, from urban crime to poaching.  So when I saw Fever, I was surprised.  The book imagines a South Africa (and the rest of the world) after a virus has killed  off over 90% of humanity.  No, not zombies or aliens, just a good old fashioned devastating virus.  I enjoy post apocalyptic stories (zombies and aliens, included from time to times), but admittedly, I prefer stories where the possibility of apocalypse is a reality and Fever is one such story.

It’s about a father and his young son who survive the fever, and the father’s quest to carve out a community that will become self sufficient.  That he does, with an an assortment of characters from various walks of life.  Of course not everyone in the community sees eye to eye, and there are internal conflicts that have to be dealt with as well as the external threats, like dealing with packs of vicious dogs, marauding bikers and unusual weather patterns.   We see the community grow and slowly flourish despite their hardships and we see the young son become a man, and how he deals with living in a harsh and dangerous new world.  My only gripe would be the ending.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t read Fever, but I felt it was a little over the top when one finds out how the virus spread.  Other than that though, I felt it was a good read, which I enjoyed, and for those into this type of genre, give it a try, it won’t disappoint for the most part.

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Like Clockwork – Margie Orford.

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It’s been sometime since I’ve posted here.  Not for lack of reading books or watching films though.  I have my excuses, some valid and some not so, but it’s the excuses that I really shouldn’t let get in the way of my writing and blogging that are the ones holding me back.  So, not to bore any more.

For quite a while I have been wanting to read Margie Orford’s Clare Hart thriller series, which I eventually got around to doing so.  Well, the first one at least, Like Clockwork.  Set in Cape Town, the protagonist is police profiler Clare Hart.  It’s a grim murder novel, that delves into the criminal underworld of Cape Town, and human trafficking/prostitution and a serial killer.  In such crime/murder novels, for the most part, the detectives/investigators (or police profiler as in the case of Ms Hart) always have more than their fair share of personal problems, and Clare Hart is no exception.  I am always on the look out for books set in South Africa, which is why I had wanted to read the first of her books.  It wasn’t a bad offering.  It wasn’t a great offering either.  I’ve read better thrillers.  When reading such thrillers, I expect such stories to be on the realistic side, yes, harsh and sometimes brutal, as certainly crime in South Africa can be, but it’s got to be realistic yet I found the ending somewhat unbelievable, and a bit of an anti climax and one always feels a little let down when a book ends that way.  Nevertheless, it’s not a book that I’ve written off at all, and it had it’s merits, particularly in that it portrays the very grim reality of the criminal underbelly quite well.  Not a bad read.  I’ve got the second book in the series, so I will read it, and see if it does better than the first.

 

Thirteen Hours

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thirteen-hours

A roller coaster of a ride, this story is set mostly on the streets of Cape Town, about a young woman’s fight to stay alive, while being hunted by brutal thugs.  I think it’s a great book, capturing the real essence of the racial melting pot of South Africa.   Let’s face it, South Africa is known for it’s high crime rate, and it’s violent criminals and this is Deon Meyer’s fodder.  It’s gritty reading, but it’s good.  Trackers was the first Meyer book I read, and Thirteen Hours is the second.  I enjoyed Trackers, but Thirteen Hours was even better.  I will certainly be reading  his other books.

I think I over enthusiastically set myself the goal, on GoodReads of reading 52 books this year.  A book a week.  Which means I’ve already got catching up to do.  Somehow, I don’t quite think so!