Mat Joubert, a Captain in the Cape Town police force, is depressed following the death of his wife, who was also in the police force. The story is set in post-apartheid South Africa and the group that Joubert works in is now reporting to a new boss, Colonel Bart de Wit, who is cracking down on the force and expecting them to get in shape mentally and physically. Joubert's friend and co-worker Benny Griessel is in even worse shape mentally and physically.
Lieutenant Leon Petersen is Murder and Robbery's only "officer of color." He is having problems with his marriage. He complains to Joubert about his troubles:
And now Bart de Wit tells me I must spark because blacks must get up the ladder, show it is not just affirmative action. Now, suddenly, I'm black. Not colored anymore, not Cape Malay or brown, but black. Instant reclassification. And I must spark. Now I ask you Captain, what else do I do? ...my pay slip is still waiting for affirmative action. And not just mine. All of ours. White, black, brown.Thus the story is as much about the policemen working through their problems as solving the crimes. The case that comes to Mat Joubert is a series of apparently random killings. He tries to deal with this in a changing culture, with a new boss, and while he tries to mend his life.
At the FAQs page on the author's site, he says:
It is more fun to read them in the order they were written, but it's not essential.Since that is the way I like to read books by an author, even if the characters are not linked, I will take his advice.
Stop You're Killing Me! has a good listing of Deon Meyer's books, with indications of original (Afrikaans) publication date vs. English translation date.
Petrona has a review of this title plus links to other reviews.