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Dead Before Dying: A Novel
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Dead Before Dying: A Novel

(Mat Joubert #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  136 reviews
Mat Joubert was one of the rising stars of the South African police force, a cop on the fast-track to the future. Not only that; to his eternal incomprehension - and despite chronic ineptness around the opposite sex - he had managed to marry a fascinating, beautiful and intelligent woman. A rosy future beckoned.
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published (first published January 1st 1996)
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3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,428 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Feniks - fenice.

Anche questo romanzo uscì prima di tutto in afrikaans, e il titolo originale era Feniks.
La fenice è il personaggio femminile che è impossibile chiamare protagonista, ed è perfino difficile definire coprotagonista visto lo spazio esiguo che occupa.
Ma è pur vero che la storia ruota intorno a questo personaggio.

In inglese è stato tradotto con Dead Before Dying, classico titolo da thriller che dice tutto e niente.
L’inglese è la lingua che Meyer deve raggiungere
Marnie  Krüger
2017 Reading Challenge
This year I'm doing a Reading Challenge; so I have 26 books with specific subjects that I need to read.
Book 11:A book set in your hometown/region

I couldn't find a book set in my home town, so I chose my home away form home - Cape Town.
We vacation in the Cape every year, and if given a choice I would move there tomorrow.

I think I've made a mistake to read this in English.
Meyer's dry sense of humor is not properly portrayed in the translation, and it makes the book tedious.
The main character soun
Dave Szostak
A rite-of-passage for the crime writer: the serial-killer thriller. Unique setting aside, South Africa, this is unexceptional stuff. Meyer seems to recognize the thinness of the story and the need for padding: apart from the hunt for a serial murderer, the police additionally have to deal with a serial bank robber. Anyone who has seen Clint Eastwood's Harry Callahan in his fourth case, the 1983 film Sudden Impact, will be much further along in the central investigation than any of these Detectiv ...more
Gavin Greenwood
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deon Meyer is my absolute hero!!!! I loved this book. Reading his work in Afrikaans brings back memories of my life in South Africa, while at the same time connects me to its new and unfolding present. His characters are well developed and realistic portrayals of ordinary South Africans. Deon Meyer rules!
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captain Mat Joubert is charged with solving the murders of a few people who are being executed with an old Mauser gun and there is no apparent link between them.

In between this, he is also trying to solve the case of a bank robber who is hitting a certain bank, calls the lady tellers Sweetheart and then ask what perfume they are wearing.

There has been a shake up in the police force and Mat is advised he needs to loose 15kg so he starts with a eating pattern and some swimming for exercise. I comm
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My husband has been encouraging me to read this author for ages. At last I got around to it and you can label me impressed! Of course the fact that it was set in South Africa helped a lot because it brought back memories of a very happy part of my life. And then it is a police procedural which I always like and the main character is a very attractive man who is trying to get his life together and succeeding which is a nice, original touch. I found the author to have a very dry sense of humour wh ...more
Mish Middelmann
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised to find this was his first book - no wonder he has done so well!

Much better than the TV Series based on this book (entitled Cape Town), this story does a great job at digging into the deep dark places most people go to, in this case with much more drama than most. Captain Mat Joubert is believable, gritty, dark and yet able to do a lot of good. A cameo part for the hero of several later books, Bennie Griessel, already battling his drinking demons.

And this is where Meyer sets his course
Jul 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a police procedural set in Capetown, South Africa. The investigating officer is on a downward spiral having lost his wife to murder while she was working undercover. When it appears there is a serial killer at large, he is given one last chance to lead the investigation. Meyer is a good writer, the secondary characters are well-developed, and the South African setting (only a few years after the end of apartheid) is interesting. Overall I enjoyed it very much, but the ending (the solutio ...more
May 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book took awhile to get going but I'm glad that I stuck with it. It's more than just a mystery. The book central character's personal and professional life is the central focus, the mystery is secondary. The African setting is interesting. It gave me a glimpse into a culture that I know very little about. I look forward to reading Deon Meyer's next book.
Jun 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and enjoyable police procedural. The two primary detectives are friends, both failing in their personal and professional lives. Det. Mat Joubert is still reeling from the 2 yr old killing of his wife; Det. Griessel is drowning in alcoholism and horror at what he sees in his job. They are faced with two big cases. Joubert is tasked to investigate a series of murders which seem to be unrelated. Griessel investigates a series of bank robberies where the thief disguises himself, cal ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Megan Kelosiwang
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another awesome story from Deon Meyer! This police drama was compelling and nuanced with a fantastic plot twist that was satisfying, rather than just surprising. The background of transitional South Africa, dealing with a new future and a tortured past, added depth but never felt cliche. It felt like the author had lived the pain.
I confess . . . police procedurals/thrillers/mysteries are not my favorite reading (or audio) genre. I'm just not a huge fan of plot-driven novels, no matter how clever the plotting.

So I was particularly pleased to discover the audio version of Deon Meyer's 1996 novel, Dead Before Dying. A killer armed with a century-old German handgun is stalking Cape Town. The victims seemingly have no connection to one another . . . or do they? Captain Mat Joubert (his first name is a private acronym) of the
Kees van Duyn
Hoofdinspecteur Mat Joubert is depressief en maakt het liefst een eind aan zijn leven. Omdat twee jaar eerder zijn vrouw Lara door geweld om het leven is gekomen. De politieleiding wil het liefst van hem af, maar hij krijgt nog een kans. Daarvoor moet hij zich wel onder behandeling stellen van een therapeute.

Daarnaast moet Joubert zich ook bezighouden met een aantal moorden die met een Mauser, een wapen uit de negentiende eeuw, worden gepleegd. Tegelijkertijd vinden ook enkele bijzondere bankove
‘Feniks’ zit op zich uitstekend in elkaar, Meyer kan schrijven als de beste, heeft ontegenzeggelijk een humoristische pen, maar gaat herhaaldelijk over de top. Daardoor ontstaat een disbalans tussen enerzijds de humor en anderzijds de ernst van de misdrijven en van de persoonlijke misère van de personages. Gaandeweg het verhaal wordt die verhouding beter, maar dan is het eigenlijk te laat: overdaad aan humor en overbodig veel aandacht voor lichamelijke liefdesaspecten maken het lastig het verhaa ...more
Nov 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This author came to our local literary festival and I was excited to pick up a detective novel set in South Africa. Who knows what I was expecting. I think I should learn not to expect anything. I finished this book last year but clean forgot to review it - probably wanted to block it from my mind.

This book is... not good. It's so typical of a male writer. A few points to illustrate why:
1. Dead wife
2. Dead wife who was a cop but made a mistake that no male character ever would, so she died
3. Mal
Mike Van Barneveld
Feniks is helemaal niet te vergelijken met het 5-sterren verhaal '13 uur' van Deon Meyer. Feniks is in mijn ogen wel een 'aardig' boek, maar geen boek om nog lang over na te praten en aan te raden aan anderen. Leuk om gelezen te hebben maar mee rook niet eigenlijk. Een verhaal dat overschaduwd wordt door een overmatige hoeveelheid seks, iets wat het verhaal niet nodig heeft en ook zeker niet zorgt voor een betere beoordeling. Dit is een boek dat niet slecht is maar ook niet goed. Dus gewoon 3 st ...more
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voilà une 1ère rencontre avec Deon Meyer qui s'est pour le moins soldée sur une excellente appréciation !

C'est autant pour l'ambiance, les personnages et l'évolution de la double enquête que j'ai été captivée par ma lecture. En somme, on a là un livre au suspense entraînant, avec une réelle profondeur dans l'analyse psychologique du personnage principal et un dénouement pour le moins inattendu.

Bon point pour cette alléchante introduction !
Catherine Woodman
Captain Mat Joubert of Capetown, South Africa, has several problems he must solve. First of all, there is a polite bandit holding up the Premier Banks. He always compliments the bank clerks as he is robs them. Second, and more pressing, is the seemingly random murders of various men in town -- all killed by an old German handgun. On top of this, Joubert must cope with the recent loss of his wife, Lara, and his new boss who wants Joubert to straighten himself out or look for another job.
Feb 20, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i enjoy the heck out of deon meyer and i really think of him as a really, really good mystery writer, but i like him better nowadays, when he has dropped most of the sexism. all this commenting on women's physical attractiveness is a major pain in the neck. (view spoiler) still, i wish his novels were inexhaustible.
Christina Rothfusz
Een van my nuwe jaars voornemens was om meer Afrikaanse boeke te lees. Sover kon ek 2 lees en beide was Deon Meyer!

Feniks is een van sy eerste boeke en dit wys. Die karakters is nie so ten volle uitgebrei as sy latere werk nie en die dialoog loop nie altyd glad nie. Daar is ook baie dele van die storie wat wil asof dit net vir die skok waarde bygevoeg is as regtig nodig. In sy later werk is Deon veel meer elegant in die storie vertelling en skok net as die verhaal dit verg.

Mat Joubert is 'n kara
Janine Van
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detectives
Afdeling moord en doodslag van Zuid-Afrikaanse politie krijgt nieuwe baas. Dat brengt veel verandering. Iedereen moet fit zijn en veel mensen krijgen opdracht af te vallen, te stoppen met drinken en met roken of moeten naar psychiater. Zo ook captain Joubert. Die na dood van zijn vrouw 2 jaar geleden zijn draai niet neer kon vinden. Hij kiest er toch voor deze laatste kans te pakken. Daarbij lopen er twee zaken door elkaar. Een moordenaar die met een Mauser meerdere mannen doodschiet. En een ban ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia Broek
Lekkere doorlezer waarbij Mat Joubert als getraumatiseerde man geloofwaardig wordt neergezet. Wat niet echt uit de verf komt, is de rol van Hanna. Al vrij snel in het boek wordt de suggestie gewekt welk geslacht de moordenaar heeft, dat vond ik persoonlijk iets te opzichtig. De tweede verhaallijn over de bankberovingen had wat mij betreft niet gehoeven, die vond ik flets en flauw.
De verklaring voor de moorden met de scène naar het verleden vind ik nogal grof uitgewerkt ten opzichte van de rest v
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 200 pages were record-breaking slow. Just thinking about them makes me drowsy... zzz.

Then suddenly both humour and suspense made an appearance and stayed till the end of this book. Also there was one chapter including a certain female doctor were I could not stop smiling. I wished she was one of the main characters. Oh Anna, you were my summerday in a holiday full of rain.

Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great story and great twist. Gritty and authentic...

Great crime fiction with an authentic rawness that keeps you gripped. I enjoyed the local Cape Town references and the excellent research which means the author gets those little facts that add texture to the story and make for good fiction right.
Alexandre Turgeon
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Superbe thriller policier! J'ai beaucoup aimé que le focus soit sur le personnage principal, on suit vraiment avec lui son changement, ou plus tôt, son rétablissement. Cependant, comme le livre est très axé sur Mat Joubert l'intrigue du livre perd de son importance jusqu'à l'arrivée des dernières page.

Je recommande fortement!!
Sheron Lindley
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Much better than the TV series.

I watched the TV series but was totally confused by it. Decided to read the book to.understand the good reviews Deon Meyer got. I'm so glad I did. Concise and clear.
2 and half stars rounded up to 3 because of the second part of the book. It's a bit slow and reads more as a fiction than a crime/mistery novel because of the detailed description of the characters background.
Overall good.
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An early one of his and not the polish and complexity of later ones like Trackers, but still an excellent story with really good characterisation and back-stories that draw you in. Started slowly but gripped by the end. One of my all - time favourite writers.
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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

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