Crime & Justice

Deon Meyer, king of the crime novel in an imperfect South Africa

By Nerea González

Johannesburg, Oct 5 (EFE).- Deon Meyer, the king of South Africa’s crime novel, said he does not pay much attention to his worldwide success, but rather presenting an honest image of the country that does not succumb to the worst fears.

“I love this country so much,” he said during an interview with Efe from his residence located in Western Cape province’s Stellenbosch town, known for its wine.

“For me, it’s very important to be clear about what is happening in South Africa, and also to be positive. And to also try in the books to paint a fair and truthful and honest picture,” he said.

“In the last 50 years, there were so many fears of what could happen (in South Africa), and also so many hopes of what could happen.

And if you look at what we’ve achieved in that time, it was never as bad as our worst fears and it was never as good as our greatest hopes. And I think that’s the way it will always be,” he added.

After addressing political and police corruption in his previous novel The Last Hunt, Meyer’s latest work The Dark Flood, which was published in Afrikaans in 2020, will be available in English among other languages from the end of this year.

“I think all the corrupt politicians don’t read fiction,” he said when asked about whether or not he has been under pressure as he places many of his stories in scenarios that reflect the evils that beset South Africa.

Meyer, whose novels have been translated into 27 languages, does not believe that readers realize the extent to which many of his books run parallel to the South African reality.

Thus, for him, the most important thing is to tell stories that intrigue them.

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