Archive for June 13, 2010


Posted: June 13, 2010 in Uncategorized


Crime fiction can be used to put the case for all sorts of groups who don’t usually get a good press.

Political and cultural points can be made within the general narrative, and as long as these are not overdone that can add a lot to the atmosphere of the story.

In his latest thriller Thirteen Hours Deon Meyer is obviously concerned about the future of the Afrikaner in the new ‘rainbow nation’ of South Africa. He gets his character Piet van der Lingen, an elderly historian with a son in Canada, in whose house Rachel takes shelter tell her about his writing.

‘I’m writing a book. I promised myself it is my last. It’s about the rebuilding of South Africa after the Boer War. I am writing it for my people, the Afrikaners, so they can see they have been through the same thing as the black people are going through now. They were also oppressed, they were also very poor, landless, beaten down. But through affirmative action they got up again…………’
‘But the book is also for our black people,’ he said. ‘The Afrikaners rose up again, an amazing achievement. Then their power corrupted them. The signs are there that the black government is going the same way. I am afraid they will make the same mistakes. It would be such a pity. We are a country of potential, of wonderful, good people who all want only one thing; a future for our children. Here. Not in Canada.’

This is the sort of social commentary and history that makes reading crime fiction so interesting.
Deon Meyer’s writing suggests that the Afrikaners were influenced by a deep concern for the future welfare of their country, and this was the major factor that brought about the dismantling of the terrible apartheid system.
Others, perhaps less informed, might might claim it was the sporting boycott that prevented rugby and cricket teams playing against South Africa.