Sex, lies, and a lot of alcohol are the key elements in Meyer’s (Cobra, 2014, etc.) latest thriller featuring Detective Captain Benny Griessel of the leading South African investigative team known as the Hawks.
Griessel himself is incapacitated for most of the story: after two years as a recovering alcoholic, he’s been shaken by a murder/suicide involving a colleague and has fallen off the wagon. While Griessel struggles to keep his life from falling apart, Ernst Richter, owner of the notorious website Alibi, turns up strangled. True to its name, Alibi promises airtight excuses for clients cheating on their spouses, but it seems that Richter hasn’t honored his promise to keep his clients’ identities secret. In a parallel storyline, Cape Town winemaker Francois de Toit outlines his troubled family history during a government investigation, a story that includes growing up with a psychopathic brother. De Toit has his own secret: he’s become involved in a fraud scheme, in which his bottles of South African wine are sold internationally as high-priced Chateau Lafite Rothschild. The connection between these two stories won’t become clear until Griessel can get his head out of the Jack Daniels. Complicating matters further, investigators in each of the cases find themselves falling in love with the possible suspects they’re interviewing.
Unlike previous Griessel volumes, this one makes only passing references to the political and racial climate of post-apartheid South Africa. But the surprising plot twists and the wealth of juicy subplots make this a standout entry in a superior series.