cover image Devil’s Peak

Devil’s Peak

Deon Meyer, read by Simon Vance. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 12.5 hrs., $39.95 ISBN 978-1-61174-806-2

Meyer’s superbly crafted South African thriller follows the interconnected lives of three characters: Christine van Rooyen, a beautiful but luckless Capetown prostitute who gets on the bad side of the brother of a Colombian drug lord; Thobela Mpayipheli, a former mercenary whose retirement ends with the murder of his eight-year-old son; and veteran police inspector Benny Griessel, an alcoholic burnout struggling to regain sobriety and the respect of his family and co-workers. Narrator Simon Vance turns in a successful performance in this audio edition. When Benny’s mood swings from despair to hope, Vance’s hoarse croak reflects the changes. Similarly, the narrator’s rendition of Thobela changes from an initial paternal cheeriness when speaking with his son to despair at the boy’s death and stoic flatness as he sets out on his quest for vengeance. Emotions run high throughout, and Vance successfully conveys every moment of despair and elation. But it’s near the novel’s end—when the plot strands connect in a suspenseful and violent confrontation—that Vance pulls out all the stops, adding a notable finishing touch to this compelling presentation. (July)