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Thirteen Hours (Benny Griessel #2)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,864 Ratings  ·  370 Reviews
An unputdownable thriller from South Africa's #1-bestselling crime writer.
Some would call Detective Benny Griessel a legend. Others would call him a drunk.
Either way, he has trodden on too many toes over the years ever to reach the top of the promotion ladder, and now he concentrates on staying sober and mentoring the new generation of crime fighters -- mixed race, Xhosa
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 2008)
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Dirk Grobbelaar

Thirteen Hours Review – Redux

I attended a Deon Meyer book signing this weekend and it played a big part in my decision to expand this review. At the time of writing this, Thirteen Hours is the only Meyer book I’ve read, but that is definitely about to change.

I’m not changing my rating, but I think some perspective is in order. South Africa is a country with eleven official languages, which should give you some idea of the cultural diversity. Why is this important? Meyer takes great snapshots of
Oct 05, 2012 jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book is good and engaging and fun and informative. it has the mainstay-ish worn-out alcoholic cop and the mainstay-ish young female victim, but unlike in most american thrillers, the story is complicated by the interracial dynamics of post-apartheid south africa. also, the female victim (not the one they kill right at the beginning, the other one) totally kicks ass.

i didn't know many things about south africa and now i know some. they are pretty basic things, like that afrikaans is a langu
Elizabeth A
Apr 21, 2016 Elizabeth A rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
This was exactly the right book at the right time for me. I was in the mood for a fast paced thriller, and this, the second book in the Benny Griessel series, did not disappoint.

When an American backpacker disappears in Cape Town, the clock starts counting down, and the story moves along at a breathless pace for the next thirteen hours (hence the title). I really like that this South African detective series incorporates complex post-apartheid issues into the plot. The writing is really good, t
Tredici ore soltanto: per risolvere due delitti, e il caso di una ragazza sequestrata, e il tentato suicidio di un’ex grande cantante, e un losco traffico, e una vita che va a rotoli, e una carriera che non decolla, e un paese che combatte nel post-apartheid, e…
Il tempo incalza per i personaggi e il fiato corto viene anche al lettore che non riesce a mettere giù un libro così, perché rimane incollato alle dita.

Ma Deon Meyer non ci racconta ‘solo’ una serie di delitti e situa
Sonja Arlow
My eerste probeerslag met n Deon Meyer boek was ‘n Engels vertaalde sample wat ek by Amazon gekry het en vir een of ander rede kon ek nie in die storie kom nie en het dit na die eerste paar bladsye eenkant gesit.

Ek het 3 van sy boeke vir die afgelope 6 maande heen en weer karwy na en van my boek club met die beste voorwensels om ten minste een te lees. So toe ek uiteindelik een lees kon myself skop omdat ek so lank gevat het om dit te doen.

Hierdie is ‘n vinnige aksie belaaide speurverhaal wat jo
I hadn't actually heard of this author, who writes in Afrikaans, until I heard him being interviewed on a BBC Radio Programme some months ago. I was intrigued by what he said and by the setting of his novels in Cape Town, one of the relatively few places in the world I have personally visited.

An initial synopsis of this novel makes it sound like "crime writing by the numbers". The lead character, Inspector Benny Griessel, is a middle-aged detective with a drink problem and marital troubles, and
switterbug (Betsey)
Afrikaner Deon Meyer's latest pulse-pounding thriller hits the ground running--literally. In Cape Town, South Africa, at six in the morning, an American teenage tourist is running for her life. Her best friend's throat was slit in front of her and she is bolting from the perpetrators' clutches. The story hits its stride early and swiftly as events unfold over thirteen-hours. Vicious outlaws and the snarl of conspiracy; Afrikaner, Xhosa, and Zulu crime-fighters; and crooners and corporate fleecer ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Florian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chrstina Scholtz
Ek moes lank wik en weeg oor watter ster ek die boek wou gee. Ek dink dat ek laas in Afrikaans gelees het toe ek op skool was en was nie seker of ek die wou aanpak of nie.

Deon Meyer se 13 Uur gryp jou van die begin af en ek kon net nie opbou lees nie. Die karakters is ryk, en mens word vining betrokke by elkeen. Die menslikheid van die ou man om 'n onbekende jong meise te prober red (en met 'n Ma van dieselfde ouderdom kan ek vir jou se sy sou presies dieselfde gedoen het!). Die intense ondersoe
Nov 27, 2014 Karina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rachel Anderson, een jonge Amerikaanse vrouw, wordt opgejaagd door een bende jongeren die haar vriendin zopas vermoord hebben. Deon Meyer schrijft hier een heel goed opgebouwde thriller met een interessante detective (Benny Griessel). Het is een soort city novel (naar analogie van road movie) met Cape Town in de hoofdrol. En passant komt de Zuidafrikaanse maatschappij ook nog aan bod. Vierde ster is te danken aan het feit dat ik vrijwel alle plekken herkende ;)
Paula Gruben
This was my first Deon Meyer, & I came away with mixed feelings. Within the genre of 'crime fiction', I'd say 'Thirteen Hours' is best described as 'hard-boiled detective fiction'. What it lacks in forensic sophistication à la Patricia Cornwell, it makes up for in Dan Brown-esque suspense & pacing. As a fellow South African, I enjoyed Meyer's use of colloquialisms & local references, & had a good chuckle at his scathing sociopolitical commentary on the country via various charact ...more
Jul 25, 2014 Anne-Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Na het lezen van Duivelspiek, het eerste boek met inspecteur Bennie Griessel, ben ik gelijk verder gegaan met het tweede boek 13 uur.
En dit was wederom een zeer prettige leeservaring! Deon Meyer is een enorm goede schrijver, alles wordt tot in detail beschreven alsof je er zelf bij bent en alle karakters zijn zeer overtuigend.
Het leuke en mooie van dit boek vond ik ook dat het zich afspeelt op 1 dag. Er wordt een jonge vrouw vermist, aan inspecteur Griessel de taak om haar terug te vinden, dit
Leanne Hunt
Feb 22, 2014 Leanne Hunt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
My first Deon Meyer book, "Thirteen Hours" was a huge discovery for me. This author is well-loved among crime fiction readers but I was under the impression his stories were all action and no character exploration. I was wrong. The characters in this novel are sensitively portrayed in vivid detail, making it easy for the reader to relate to and sympathise with them.

I loved the fact that the story was set in Cape Town and used familiar locations such as streets, hospitals, police stations and nat
I got this book through First-Reads.

Thirteen Hours was a very intriguing read and forced me to really focus. The characters are well defined, great detail throughout the book, and the overall story was really good. Everything in this book takes place within a thirteen hour period. The book is a long read at 584 pages, and jam-packed.

I know literally nothing about South Africa, which is the setting of the story (Capetown), or the language. Although this book was translated from Afrikaans to Engl
Joyce Lagow

Africa enjoys a number of very fine mystery/police procedural/thriller writers. One of the best is Deon Meyer, writing in Afrikaans, who turns out exciting, fast-paced, well-written thrillers set in today’s South Africa.

His latest is 13 Hours, a sequel, in a way, to Devil’s Peak, whose events take place before this book. But it isn’t necessary to read Devil’s Peak before this book, although I recommend it as an outstanding book on its own.

Detective Bennie Griessel of the South African Police Ser
This is a sophisticated, well-written suspense story set in Cape Town, South Africa, though it might have been in any town but for the details. For those who like this genre, the author should be well known and loved. He writes so much better than many in the genre. The story details are well-researched and the plot flows along with natural dialogue, keeping the reader guessing at every turn, and there are many. The characters seem real; I know people who could step right into some of these role ...more
Jan 11, 2014 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I've never read Deon Meyer before, perhaps because he writes in Afrikaans. but I'm so pleased to have discovered English translations, they've been out for a while of course. I am now slightly obsessed and have read five of his books in the last month. As a South African born author myself, I do find it hard reading about the old 'homeland' but understanding the politics and language only makes it a better read for me. The stories are gripping and the flawed heroes make the book ...more
Nov 19, 2010 Chris rated it it was amazing
Another super thriller that tested my powers of self-restraint from reading in less than 13 hours, as I wanted to savor it. Life and death struggle to find a missing girl. Two murders. The chief investigator, Griessel, is a familiar face struggling with personal demons. We are introduced to some new subordinates who are trying to figure out just who this burned out white guy in charge of them is. Lots of suspense and twists in this one-the motives are a complete surprise. Should be a movie just ...more
Dec 04, 2011 Gareth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm fortunate to live in Cape Town, but don't read much South African fiction due to the generally poor standard of such writing.

What a huge thrill, then, to watch the places of my town leap to life off the pages of 13 hours in Deon Meyer's sensational book.

I'd heard the rumours about Deon Meyer's books being of international quality, but was still skeptical - well I needn't have worried. A tight and and harrowing storyline, outstanding characters and Meyer's ability to set a world class book in
Feb 09, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Fast paced detective thriller set in Cape Town with Bennie Griesel working 2 murder cases during the course of a dramatic day. Good characterisations of the various police officers, suspects, victims and bystanders, coupled with sharp descriptions of a wonderful setting and great pacing make this one of my favourite reads so far this year. The only downside seemed to be an unconvincing explanation why the victim chose not to trust the police from the start.
Apr 04, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced South African crime novel that reads like a cross between Peter Temple and the TV series 24. Benny Griessel is a homicide detective, a recovering alcoholic who is hoping to win his wife back. He is woken early with the news that a American teenage girl's body has been found on the street. He quickly realizes that a second teenage girl is on the run, in fear of her life. His day gets more complicated by a second murder, the husband of a prominent singer. He needs to oversee both crim ...more
Yvonne (Fiction Books)
"A Gripping Page Turner, A South African Nightmare"

This is the second Deon Meyer book I have read and like `Devil's Peak', `Thirteen Hours' is a real page-turner that gripped me from the first word, to the very last.

The clock is ticking from the word go, as thirteen hours is the deadline to solve the case of the American teenage tourist who is brutally murdered, the tension being heightened even more with the book being broken down into time-lined chapters, making me ultra aware of the passing o
Pieter Müller
Oct 27, 2015 Pieter Müller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starts off a bit slow but pick up a lot of pace in the second half, and by the end it's impossible to put down. Loved the Cape Town setting.
Charles Moore
Dec 11, 2014 Charles Moore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just finished reading Joe Gores, this new author Deon Meyer is a really interesting surprise. Thirteen Hours is the time frame of this story. Early morning to suppertime. Meyer weaves two over lapping story themes using half-dozen main characters and gives nothing away until the suspense is almost too much to bear. A major source of the tension, though, is the "New" South Africa's growing pains as it emerges from apartheid. This was what makes Thirteen Hours different!

I've lost count how
A womanizing music promoter is found in his living room, shot to death, his alcoholic wife passed out next to him. When she comes to, she says she didn't do it, and it becomes apparent that he was killed somewhere else and brought home after.

A young American backpacker has her throat cut after being chased down the street by a mixed race group of young men. The friend who was being chased with her is missing.

Benny Griessel, six months sober, and his mixed bag team of multiethnic cops with normal
Steve Land
Jul 08, 2015 Steve Land rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pleasantly surprising, and surprisingly insightful

Not a genre that I would normally even consider looking at, but thankfully it was recommended to me. An engrossing read with great character portrayal.
Jun 19, 2015 Linnaea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: africa
This is the second Benny Griessel novel. Like all of Deon Meyer's books, it takes place in Cape Town or the surrounding area and is told by many different characters. This one is interesting because it takes place in one day, so there is an added sense of urgency.
In the early morning hours, a young women is killed. The police discover that she is an American and her friend is still out there. This is what begins the novel. Detective Griessel is now a mentor to younger detectives in the "New Sou
Janice Forman
Deon Meyer has created an exciting thriller. The story covers the short time-span of thirteen hours; it is fast-paced and the reader is carried along with the protagonist, a recovering alcoholic, Benny Griessel as he attempts to solve two murders simultaneously and find an American girl fleeing for her life.

Set in South Africa, the reader is exposed to the racial tensions of the police force and the problems it creates. Initially, I found it a little difficult to follow the story line and the c
Sergio GRANDE films
For decades I religiously bought every Wilbur Smith book, year in and year out, even if for the past ten years I grew disappointed to the point of feeling betrayed and finally decided that from 2015 onwards I'd never buy any of his books again.

Then, just in time, a friend mentioned that if I was looking for a South Africa writer I should give Deon Meyer a try. I wasn't actually looking for a "South African writer" (whatever that implies) but I downloaded this book anyway. What a find! I'm an ins
One of the best crime novels I've ever read. Deon Meyer is in the same league as Peter Temple, Stieg Larsson and Michael Connolly, so if you enjoy these authors, I can highly recommend this book.
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Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl in the winelands of the Western Cape in 1958, and grew up in Klerksdorp, in the gold mining region of Northwest Province.

After military duty and studying at the Potchefstroom University, he joined Die Volksblad, a daily newspaper in Bloemfontein as a reporter. Since then, he has worked as press liaison, advertising copywriter, creative directo
More about Deon Meyer...

Other Books in the Series

Benny Griessel (5 books)
  • Devil's Peak (Benny Griessel, #1)
  • 7 dae (Bennie Griessel, #3)
  • Cobra (Benny Griessel, #4)
  • Icarus (Benny Griessel, #5)

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