cover image The Dark Flood

The Dark Flood

Deon Meyer, trans. from the Afrikaans by K.L. Seegers. Atlantic Monthly, $27 (4

In Meyer’s stellar seventh thriller featuring South African police detective Benny Griessel (after 2019’s The Last Hunt), Griessel and his partner, Vaughn Cupido, members of the elite Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation, have embarrassed the brass by pursuing an inquiry into an apparent suicide that exposed the culpability of agents of the State Security Agency. They’re demoted and reassigned from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, where they expect to handle routine matters while awaiting a hoped-for reinstatement. Instead, they become involved in a missing persons case—the disappearance of college student Callie de Bruin, whose hacking skills enabled him to alter records of criminal convictions. Meanwhile, their ever-present concerns about high-level corruption in the police are heightened when Griessel gets an anonymous message stating: “I can only trust you and Captain Cupido. There is an adder in our bosom. Be careful of phone calls.” Meyer adds a Madoff-like financial fraudster and a homicide as he toggles between story lines and keeps things moving toward the wholly satisfying conclusion. This is the best work yet from this gifted author. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (May)