cover image Thirteen Hours

Thirteen Hours

Deon Meyer, read by Simon Vance, HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 10 CDs, 11 hrs., $36.95 ISBN 978-1-61573-542-6

Afrikaner Meyer's study of an action-filled half-day in the lives of several members of a Cape Town homicide squad ranks among the best of police procedurals. The investigators, led by Capt. Benny Griessel (last seen in Devil's Peak), are trying to discover who cut the throat of a visiting American teenager, what happened to her missing friend, and whether the wife of a womanizing music exec was framed for the crime. Though the thriller pauses to reflect on the political and social changes in postapartheid South Africa, it moves at a clip that Simon Vance easily maintains while adding his own touches to Meyer's well-developed leading players. Griessel may be struggling with a full caseload and an inexperienced staff, but he's a knowledgeable lawman, and Vance provides him with a forceful, no nonsense voice while on the job. And the young girl on the run from killers, Rachel Anderson, alternates between despair and fierce determination to stay alive. The characters speak with assorted accents, including Zulu, Shona and Afrikaans, all of which Vance simulates with convincing authenticity. An Atlantic Monthly hardcover. (Oct.)