Deon Meyer, the South African author known for the well-received thrillers featuring detective Benny Griessel, has turned his attention to a standalone novel which asks a variety of fundamental questions concerning life and love. It is a study of man’s relationship to man and his environment under extreme circumstances. It follows the development of young Nico Storm from pre-teen to just on the threshold of manhood as he and his father, Willem, try to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
The novel opens with Storm pere et fils traveling alone on a South African highway in a world where about 90 percent of the population has been wiped out by a particularly virulent virus worldwide. The father is an altruistic and well-educated person, and envisions establishing a new community with survivors in an idealistic setting without the pressures and infighting previously known. As the community develops and new inhabitants arrive, the challenges faced, including marauding invasions by evil gangs, are met.
The situations presented are a detailed study of the reactions and development of the various characters that play a role in the lives of Nico and his father and the community in general. As he has demonstrated in the Benny Griessel crime novels, the author’s ability to write sparkling prose, along with excellent descriptions of South Africa and his eye for people and places, is put to good use in Fever.