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Cobra

by Deon Meyer

Publishers Weekly Meyers assured fourth Bennie Greissel thriller (after 2012s Seven Days) takes the Cape Town homicide detective to South African wine country, where the British citizen Paul Morris has been kidnapped. At the guesthouse where Morris was staying, his two bodyguards lie dead, each of them shot in the head. Near the bodies are shell casings, each etched with the head of a cobra. Back in Cape Town, the amiable cutpurse Tyrone Kleinbooi, whos devoted to putting his sister through medical school, becomes a target of the same cobra killers after picking the wrong pocket. Suspense builds as the action shifts between Greissels and Tyrones increasingly life-threatening exploits. On a lighter note, Afrikaans expressions season the story (a glossary is included), and there are practical lessons in the art of pickpocketing. The novels only flaw is the abrupt ending, which leaves at least one characters fate unresolved. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list South African crime novelist Meyer combines intricate plotting, a compelling cast, and timely themes in this fourth novel featuring Captain Benny Griessel as the lead. A brilliant mathematician has been kidnapped at a guesthouse in South Africa's wine country, and his bodyguards have been assassinated; the only clues are bullet casings at the scene that sport the head of a cobra. The mathematician has invented an algorithm that can detect the fraudulent movement of large amounts of cash, and now someone may be pressuring him to change that algorithm. Possible culprits include corrupt politicians, drug cartels, and financial institutions. Recovering alcoholic Benny, who has only recently become familiar with cell phones, needs all of his wits about him to understand the implications of cybercrimes, and he is seriously distracted by his beautiful new roommate, an accomplished jazz singer. Meanwhile, a young pickpocket has targeted the wrong mark and soon finds himself in danger. As the two cases converge, Benny and his elite investigative unit, the Hawks, must also play politics while trying to track the kidnappers. Meyer has added another provocative novel to his impressive oeuvre.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Kirkus A chase-themed thriller set in the tense political climate of post-apartheid South Africa.Detective Benny Griessel of Cape Town's elite Hawks is called in when renowned mathematician David Adair is kidnapped from a remote hideaway, his bodyguards shot dead. The crime is traced to the international assassin team known as Cobra, which is after a memory card containing information that could expose major worldwide financial corruption. Meanwhile, Tyrone Kleinbooi, a small-time pickpocket who steals to support his sister, inadvertently winds up with the card when he robs Adair's assistant and lover, Lillian Alvarez. Already running from the law, Tyrone witnesses a further shooting and now finds himself a Cobra target as well. Griessel's team spends the book's second half pursuing Tyrone, whose life would clearly be easier if he'd turn himself in. There's also a major implausibility when Tyrone's sister is shot point-blank by Cobras and survives with minor injuries. As the chase intensifies, recovering alcoholic Griessel struggles to stay sober and hold onto a new relationship. The story ends with a blast of violence that throws a sudden twist on a tidy ending and sets the stage for the next installment. As always, Meyer (Seven Days, 2012, etc.) writes with a strong sense of character and an eye on post-apartheid politics, though the plotting here is slower and less compelling than previous books in the Griessel series. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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