The Dark Flood by Deon Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The first 300 pages of this “thriller” is a snoozefest, but right about page 300 it turns into a real page turner. The plot is good if you have the patience to wait for it to develop.
Vaughn and Benny are two South African detectives with problems – one with weight and one with alcohol. The book begins with a wild gunfight that is totally irrelevant to the rest of the book. The two detectives are demoted over something that happened in a previous book and which is shamelessly promoted. They end up with lower rank in a sleepy, wealthy suburb working a missing person case. ZZZ. Meanwhile we meet Sandra, a young and comely realtor who is married to a professor on sabbatical. They’re in financial trouble, and since hubby is writing a novel, i.e. not bringing in any dough, she needs to make some money as they can’t meet the mortgage payment. A lecherous millionaire wants her to sell a wine estate he controls, but he tells her lasciviously, the commission “doesn’t come for free.” Thus starts the story of the real estate deal from hell. What does this have to do with Vaughn and Benny? Nothing until the last quarter of the book, but it does all come together in quite an entertaining way.
The text is peppered with Afrikaans words and slang expressions. This gives it an interesting flavor, but can be somewhat distracting. There is a glossary at the end, which I didn’t discover until I was almost at the end. I kept getting off on tangents when looking up the terms on my phone. For us Yanks with no familiarity with South African geography or anything else it’s a bit challenging to follow at times, but it also carries with it a slight exotic flavor. In the end, I enjoyed it. I don’t know where the title comes from since there is no flood, dark or otherwise. This is the seventh book in the series.