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DEAD AT DAYBREAK by Deon Meyer

Publishers:  Little, Brown, 2005 ISBN: 0316000124

Reviewed by Narayan Radhakrishnan, New Mystery Reader

Language is a big barrier. No doubt, how many of the world classic crime thrillers are left unread by many because of language constraints and absence of translated copies. Take it from me, I come from India where only say 10% of the population knows how to read and write English fluently. Thus the legal thriller classics of John Grisham, the horror thrillers of Stephen King, the techno-thrillers of Tom Clancy have not been relished and enjoyed by many over here in this part of the world. In the last decade or so, translated copies of world classics of those written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Paul Cohelo, etc. have hit the market and many have bought and read these translated works. However, there are not many takers for translating popular fiction works. (Ok, I guess there are takers for Spanish and French, thatís it.) Is there a Hindi edition of a John Leí Carre or John Grisham novel available- I donít know- and this is were Little, Brown deserves praise for bringing into print translated copy of a world classic, which but for this translation would just have been enjoyed by a set of readers who knows Afrikaans.

Last year while reviewing Heart of the Hunter, for this website, I had remarked that time wonít be far away when another translated copy of the authorís work hits the stands. And Dead at Daybreak is a wonderful suspense adventure thriller of the first order that sure is a must read for those who have read and enjoyed Heart of the Hunter. This time round Meyer takes us to the life of Zet van Heerden a former police officer and a man of honour and integrity. Zet van Heerden has been called to investigate the death of an antique dealer Johannes Jacobus Smit. It looks like any other ordinary murder, save for the fact that the murder weapon used was something not commonly used by common thieves. And this probes the investigator to investigate more into the murder and he discovers that Johannes had a secret life. And the whereabouts of the person called Johannus before 1983 is all but unknown. And what follows is an adventure ride of the first order, of integrity, honour and valor culminating in an exciting and stupendous finish.

Like in Heart of the Hunter, the spirit and vibrant life of Africa is also captured in all its glory in this new work by the author. Highly enjoyable, mark my words, its gonna be the adventure of the year.

 

Hole in One by Catherine Aird

Publisher:  St. Martin's Minotaur ISBN:  0312342292

Reviewed by Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader

Are you a golf nut? Do you live, breathe, eat and dream about golf?  If so, you will particularly love this tale with some of its characters almost completely immersed in the game, such as the caddy whose body was found buried in a sand trap.

Two women not doing very well in their game, are slowly playing their way along the course, when one of them drives her ball into a sand trap at the sixth hole.  In trying to hit it over the high sides of the trap, she keeps digging up sand, eventually uncovering a head.  This discovery brings all games on the course to a halt as she stumbles into the club house to tell what she has found..

The case is turned over to Inspector Sloan, a non-golfer, who is faced with hunting a killer while trying not to step on any toes of the membership because his boss, Superintendent Leeyes is up for a committee.  Leeyes is an avid golfer and Sloan learns more about golf than he ever wanted to know as he questions everyone on the course and at the clubhouse.

An interesting plot played out by well done characters who may play golf by the rules, but when it comes to business, that's something else entirely. Join Inspector Sloan and his staff as they set out to solve a murder.  Talented Catherine Aird offers the reader a well told tale any mystery buff will enjoy.