Thursday, September 22, 2011

Book Review: Heart of the Hunter

Heart of the Hunter by Deon Meyer is a suspense thriller. Suspense because it’s packed with twists and turns and you’re not sure who’s showing their true colors and who’s not what they seem. Thriller because it’s non-stop action.

Here is the back cover blurb:
Thobela “Tiny” Mpayipheli has a past littered with violence and death.

An assassin’s past that he never wants to face again. All he desires is a quiet life with the woman he loves, and her child.

But then his best friend is kidnapped, and suddenly he finds himself riding a stolen motorbike across the harsh plains of the South African Karoo.

His destination: Lusaka, thousands of miles away in Zambia.
His mission: To deliver a computer disk that contains – what?

He has exactly 72 hours to do it, or his friend will die.
Mpayipheli, despite his past, is the character I rooted for. Despite his past, he is the hero. But because of his past, he is not just delivering a package, he is being ruthlessly hunted.

When I first started reading Heart of the Hunter, I had difficulty with the names. A great many of them are names that I didn’t know how to pronounce: “Mpayipheli” for one. But once I assigned them names in my head (for Mpayipheli, I dropped the M), I got into the story, even though I have no idea if that’s the way it is correctly pronounced.

As a reader, you are primarily in Mpayipheli’s head, which is a very interesting place to be since he is quite fascinating. I started reading to learn more about him and to find out if he would get the package where it needed to be in time to save his friend. I kept reading to find out if he would survive the trip when he is being hunted via land and air. I finished it to find out if Mpayipheli would revert to the man he used to be or grow into the man whom the woman who loves him believes him to be.

There is nothing ordinary about this man or the trip he takes.

Where to find Heart of the Hunter:
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

I give Heart of the Hunter by Deon Meyer a rating of Hel-of-a-Protagonist.

FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me by Judy Croome when she had a giveaway on her blog and my name was drawn. This did not influence my review. The character and the story influenced my review. I could have given this book a rating of Hel-of-a-Story, but decided on Hel-of-a-Protagonist because Mpayipheli is such a complicated, multi-layered protagonist. I could also have rated it Hel-of-a-Writer because Mpayipheli is not the only believable character in the book. Other characters, both big and small are multi-dimensional. Plus, I enjoyed “going” to a place I’ve never been. I see movie-possibility in Heart of the Hunter. If a producer reads this review and buys the rights, I want a cut, since it was my idea. Not a big cut. A small cut, itty-bitty, like a free ticket to the premiere. Or a walk-on. I have experience. I’ve been an extra in movies. There was a courtroom scene in one movie. I was the girl on the back row. I’m sure you remember me. If you don’t, then you must have blinked.


  1. ...great review, you've piqued my interest.

    And keep in mind, Helen, that every star-studded celebrity who's pressed their palms into fresh concrete along the walk of fame once began as an extra in a movie...ya just never know ;)


  2. So glad you enjoyed the book, Helen. Deon Meyer is one of South Africa's authors who has made a big hit with international audiences.

    Judy, South Africa

  3. Oh, Elliot, you're just feeding my craziness.

    Judy, I can see why he's a hit.

  4. Loved your disclaimer, as usual! You're assured of your part not being a mermaid as well, because of the setting. ;)

    It sounds like a terrific book. My mind-naming automatically dropped the first "p", making him May...

  5. Soounds like a great read. I'd give you a part in the movie!

  6. Re: back-ups

    Go to and make an account. Install the software, pick a location for your Dropbox folder, copy your important projects there and use that folder to save your future projects.


    When you're on-line your projects will be backed up to your online Dropbox account. The free account is good for 2GB of data. If you lose your internet connection it synchronizes next time you go online.

  7. Thank you Anton! I will look into it as soon as I get the new computer ... whenever that may be.

  8. Sounds great. Who publishes Deon? He is one of the most successful South African writers.

  9. This one interested me the first time you mentioned it Helen. I'm glad you reviewed it. It's one I wanted to read and after reading your review, I'm getting it!

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  11. Sounds interesting, thank you for the review.

  12. Your reviews always get me interested in what you're reading, Helen. Good work. Wish I could write them faster so I can read your review of what I write! LOL


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