Heart of the Hunter and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Heart of the Hunter Mass Market Paperback – Jul 2005


See all 9 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Mass Market Paperback, Jul 2005
CDN$ 78.67 CDN$ 0.01

2014 Books Gift Guide
Thug Kitchen, adapted from the wildly popular web site beloved by Gwyneth Paltrow ("This might be my favorite thing ever"), is featured in our 2014 Books Gift Guide. More gift ideas
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Hero Quick Promo
Boxing Day Kindle Deals
Load your library with over 30 popular fiction books and more, today only. Learn more

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 487 pages
  • Publisher: Lb Books; Reprint edition (July 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316010391
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316010399
  • Product Dimensions: 18.5 x 11.4 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,675,840 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

A hulking black motorcycle-shop janitor named Tiny is the unlikely hero of this frantic, intelligent thriller by a South African crime writer. Tiny (aka Thobela Mpayipheli aka Umzingeli, the Hunter) is a former KGB-trained assassin who plied his trade in service of the struggle against apartheid. He is now a peace-loving family man, but when a plea for help comes from the daughter of an old friend, he is forced to race across the country on a motorcycle to deliver a coveted disk, chased by a homicidal special forces commander. His fear of revisiting the violence of his past feels real—the sincere hesitation of a dark-skinned man in a country where violent acts multiply like viruses, especially where black blood is involved. "His hands so terribly ready to kill, his brain clattering out the knowledge of the vital points on the soldier's body like machine gun fire, despairing, don't, don't, don't..." In other ways, this is a standard thriller complete with CIA involvement, an appearance by Muslim extremists and a loose, rat-a-tat prose that keeps pages turning. The central plot twist is predictable and too few of the many story lines are resolved, but the freshness of the context and the emotional complexity of the hero's journey are ample compensation for readers who want a more thought-provoking spy story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Thobela Mpayipheli has settled into a sedate but rewarding life with the woman he loves. He works as a gofer at a South African motorcycle shop and readies his partner's young son for life on a farm--until an ex-boss asks him to perform a dangerous favor. His Xhosa warrior's heart racing, Thobela soon finds himself driving hard toward Nigeria with a hard drive full of secrets the unified government wishes to file away for good. Thrillingly competent at evading the police, intelligence services, and even a crack paramilitary team, Thobela struggles with the novel's core question--Can people change their essential nature?--while the authorities uncover his deadly past as a weapon of the antiapartheid movement on loan to the Soviet bloc. Like John le Carre's The Tailor of Panama, this novel examines the rippling horrors too often caused by so-called intelligence agents working for foreign masters in backwater nations. With simmering racial tensions, a bounty of natural resources, and a government whose members worked both sides of the cold-war fence, South Africa should prove fertile ground for many fine spy thrillers to come. Don't be surprised if quite a few of them are written by Meyer. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
In Cape Town, South Africa, former freedom fighter (or assassin depending on which side you supported) during the "Struggle", Thobela "Tiny" Mpayipheli has become a dedicated family man. He contentedly works at a low paying job because he looks forward to going home every night to his beloved Miriam Nzuluwazi and her son.
His violent past returns when a distraught Monica Kleintjes informs him that his old compatriot in arms her father Johnny needs his help. Tiny owes Johnny so when Monica asks him to deliver a disc to terrorists because if they are not handed over to them by a certain time they will kill her father. He accepts the mission bur the CIA, al Qaeda, the government, and other agencies also want the disk. Killing a retired assassin to obtain what they want is fine by everyone involved as Tiny learns how perilous a friend in need is and how deadly competition can be to the "supplier".
This exciting post apartheid and 9/11 thriller never slows down especially when everyone seems to be chasing after Tiny (actually he is sort of a South African Little John) fleeing on a stolen motorcycle. Tiny is a terrific center of gravity as he keeps the tale moving and focused while the support cast either enables a deep look into the HEART OF THE HUNTER or want to kill him. Cape Town and the surrounding countryside make a fabulous background to the escapades. Though over the top at times, Deon Meyer provides an action packed suspense thriller starring a fabulous hero.
Harriet Klausner
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Format: Hardcover
A man contacts an old friend asking for his assistance; with that one action, a government agency is set in motion, tracking all activity, assessing security and setting safeguards in place, so finely tuned as to be error-proof. In one simple act of acquiescence, lives are irrevocably changed.
A society is defined by the agencies that conduct the business of the people. Developed by the South African Presidential Intelligence Unit (PIU), designed from an intelligence-specific prototype, the Reaction Unit (RU) falls somewhere between a counter-terrorist organization and hostage rescue unit, similar to the British Special Air Services. The creators of the RU have dark dreams of redemption from a shameful past in South African human relations and, given an opportunity to prove the superiority of the unit, envision new beginnings for a country struggling to redefine its political and social systems.
Thobela Mpayipheli, a six-foot-three giant of a man with a gentle heart, has finally found contentment in his life, living quietly with his woman and her young son. A former member of Umkhonto we Sizwe ("the spear of the nation"), part of the black resistance when South Africa was fighting for racial balance and equality. Thobela, AKA Tiny, has made a covenant with himself and those he loves, putting the violence forever behind him. But when an old friend from the past makes a request, it is a call to honor that must be met. Thobela must act as his conscience dictates, aware of what is at stake when he allows his natural instincts to resurface. Tiny is the unknown quantity in the equation, the one man to test the raison d'etre of the RU.
Like all bureaucracies, once set in motion with agendas activated, everything proceeds as planned, inexorable.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 68 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Once the cycle began it couldn't be stopped..." Dec 29 2004
By Sebastian Fernandez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Thobela Mpayipheli is an African giant, ex-spy, who is now living with his fiancé and her son in a small town in South Africa, called Guguletu. He has vowed never to go back to his old life, but his peaceful existence is broken when Monica Kleintjes, the daughter of one of his dear friends from the past, asks for his help. Johnny Kleintjes has been kidnapped and will only be released upon the delivery of a disk containing information that is crucial to national security. Kleintjes gathered this information when working in an integration project in an effort to document the real history relating to the events that took place in the dark era of the Apartheid.

Thobela, or Tiny as his friends call him, is a mysterious man that shows great kindness at moments, and cold-blooded violence at others. In a world when everyone wants to see things white or black, he presents a solid gray. This can be clearly appreciated by the reaction of the people as he goes on his quest, mounted on a powerful motorbike. Some see him as a hero, while others regard him as a dangerous man who cannot be good because he used to work as a "collector" for a drug baron. There is one reporter for the Cape Times, Allison Healy, who tries to answer the question: Is Tiny good or bad? This will provide us with valuable insight regarding the main character, but: can the question be answered with certainty?

One would thing that helping a friend that has been kidnapped would be hard enough, but Thobela has other problems too. Janina Metz, a high ranked officer in one of the intelligence agencies, had a wire that allowed her to listen to the conversation between the kidnappers and Monica. Therefore, she activated a special forces group led by a violent and vicious captain named Mazibuko. The idea is to prevent Tiny from delivering the information to the kidnappers. Thus, he is drawn into a mission filled with dangers and violence; a mission in which he will be faced with a worthy opponent in the relentless captain Mazibuko.

The exotic setting, the cleverly crafted plot, the exciting action, and the rich and complex main character, make this a novel that has it all. Deon Meyer has created a real masterpiece that is not even one notch below the work of some great authors in the genre, like John le Carré. I will be eagerly looking forward to this Meyer's new book!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A first-rate thriller, worthy to be on a bestseller list Aug. 21 2004
By Bookreporter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Deon Meyer's American debut novel, HEART OF THE HUNTER, is a first-rate thriller, worthy to be on a bestseller list. Not only does Meyer write a fast-moving story, he also acquaints his readers with the landscape of South Africa. He writes suspense that moves quickly and delves deep into the heart of his characters. They jump from the page and involve his reader with immediacy. Meyer invokes sympathy for minor characters as well as his protagonist, Tiny Mpayipheli.

Tiny is a six-foot three strongman, retired from a life of killing for hire to that of a mechanic in a motorcycle shop in a small town. He lives with the woman who changes his life, Miriam Nzululwazi, and her son, Pakamile. All three are drawn into a spider web of life changes that none can control. Tiny's former life seeks him in the form of an old friend, held captive by persons unknown, who is desperate and contacts the quiet giant.

In 1984, the complicated government of a South Africa that has emerged from its struggle for independence is the undercurrent for Meyer's plot. Distrust among competing agencies leads to players with ambition seeking their own dynasties within government departments. Prime among these is Janina Mentz, officer in charge of the Ops Room's special unit of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Her agency intercepts a phone call from Tiny's friend, Johnny Kleintjes, to his daughter and rolls into action. Mentz's mission is to stop Tiny from delivering a disk, believed to contain sensitive government information. Mentz calls on the diabolical Tiger Mazibuko, a marine officer with no scruples, for help in the Ops mission.

Tiny's skills as a former assassin and KGB operative come into play when he sets forth on a stolen BMW motorcycle across the Cape country to deliver the tape and rescue his old friend. Adrenalin long suppressed by his present pastoral life bursts into activity when he leads his pursuers across the South African veld on a chase for survival. Meyer's description of the terrain makes his audience a part of the story, cheering for Tiny's success and the return to his new life. But we want to witness the strength and skill he possesses as part of the old. We're not disappointed.

HEART OF THE HUNTER is a wealth of information about South Africa's struggle, disparity within her infant government and identity crises in both public and private sectors. Meyer's capable scripting weaves images with identity and blends the two with incredible skill. Chapter breaks blend portions of the story into a continuous thread that connects the characters through common word bonds. For example, Tiny waits for the subject of his first assassination. "The door, dark wood, was shut again...This was not the way to wage war...not right." A section break follows. Then, "There was a bar on the door, white letters on a green background that read PUSH/DRUK, and Miriam obeyed...She realized she was in a dead end."

HEART OF THE HUNTER should be in strong demand in the American market. We'll look for more from this outstanding author.

--- Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Inside the Chaos Theory July 8 2004
By Luan Gaines - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A man contacts an old friend asking for his assistance; with that one action, a government agency is set in motion, tracking all activity, assessing security and setting safeguards in place, so finely tuned as to be error-proof. In one simple act of acquiescence, lives are irrevocably changed.
A society is defined by the agencies that conduct the business of the people. Developed by the South African Presidential Intelligence Unit (PIU), designed from an intelligence-specific prototype, the Reaction Unit (RU) falls somewhere between a counter-terrorist organization and hostage rescue unit, similar to the British Special Air Services. The creators of the RU have dark dreams of redemption from a shameful past in South African human relations and, given an opportunity to prove the superiority of the unit, envision new beginnings for a country struggling to redefine its political and social systems.
Thobela Mpayipheli, a six-foot-three giant of a man with a gentle heart, has finally found contentment in his life, living quietly with his woman and her young son. A former member of Umkhonto we Sizwe ("the spear of the nation"), part of the black resistance when South Africa was fighting for racial balance and equality. Thobela, AKA Tiny, has made a covenant with himself and those he loves, putting the violence forever behind him. But when an old friend from the past makes a request, it is a call to honor that must be met. Thobela must act as his conscience dictates, aware of what is at stake when he allows his natural instincts to resurface. Tiny is the unknown quantity in the equation, the one man to test the raison d'etre of the RU.
Like all bureaucracies, once set in motion with agendas activated, everything proceeds as planned, inexorable. Regardless of nuance or human complications, these pseudo-machines are incapable of subtlety, or changing plans to adapt to exigent circumstances. Whatever and whoever is in the way is simply collateral damage.
"Contact. Action. Control." Protect the State at all costs. The action man of the Reaction Unit is Tiger Mazibuko, who lives for the thrill of the chase and a worthy opponent. He's been training his team relentlessly, preparing for just such an opportunity. Mpayipheli is the perfect adversary, a man who challenges all the skills Tiger has honed. As long as Tiger's supervisor, Janina Mentz, dehumanizes Mpayipheli, Tiger can behave dispassionately, impossible to stop. Meanwhile, Mentz sits in the catbird seat, answerable only to her Director, watching the machinations as the RU goes into overdrive, tracking Mpaypheli. This is a high-stakes chess game, and it is deadly serious.
The contretemps between man and "machine" balances in fragile stasis before chaos erupts and the forces collide, uncontrollable. Special interests, driven by self-preservation and pride, are motivated by the arrogance bred of power, corrupted, a somnolent decay that destroys the integrity of the agency itself. Meanwhile Mpaypheli's only desire is to fulfill his mission and return home, but circumstances conspire to isolate him, returning him to that state of existence he inhabited when he was a killing machine.
Meyer's complex characterizations are excellent, introspective and compassionate, revealing the underlying humanity that is at war with rigorous indoctrination. These people are multi-faceted, troubled, dealing with the demands of duty vs. personal integrity. Meyer uncovers the layers that form the whole of the human heart and the violence that destroys innocence, fomenting intolerance and distrust. Luan Gaines/2004.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A jumble on the veldt Jan. 2 2010
By Bryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently read Meyer's Blood Safari, so I really wanted to like this novel. But I just couldn't- perhaps it's just not a particularly good translation from Afrikaans. I found the plot very hard to follow- much of the action hinges on a counter-intelligence operation set in motion by one of the South African security services. The details are parceled out so sparingly that after a while you just stop caring about it. The subplot concerning "Tiny's" Cold War exploits is silly: a huge African wielding an assegai as a KGB assassin ? Really ? It's also apparent that Meyer has little experience of being around Americans; the one American character is a two-dimensional Ugly American.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Start ordering the body bags now." Sept. 2 2012
By Patto - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Thobela Mpayipheli is on an epic motorcycle ride from South Africa to Zambia. He's on a mission to save the life of a friend by delivering a sensitive data file to his captors.

His code name in the CIA was Umzingeli (The Hunter). His ironical nickname in the underground is Tiny. In fact, he's a larger-than-life black man, a prince of the Xhosa tribe, a veteran of the Struggle - and a warrior so lethal that when a drug baron hears that Intelligence is going after Tiny, he advises them, "Start ordering the body bags now."

Tiny is perhaps my favorite superhero in the world of thrillers. He's an ex-assassin who has given up violence, a wonderful family man, a tender lover, a loyal friend - a good man with a dark past and sweet visions of the future. Will he fall victim to post-Apartheid politics? Or will he survive the roadblocks, the helicopter surveillance, and the vicious attacks from the country's elite Presidential Intelligence unit? I was on the edge of my armchair waiting to find out.

Not only are Tiny's adventures completely riveting. There are a variety of absorbing subplots throughout. There's a shocking spy story. And a charming romantic interest between a Rubenesque female journalist and a close friend of Tiny's - an ex-cop turned psychology professor. Intellectual readers should enjoy mulling over the professor's theories of evolutionary psychology. Action-loving readers can enjoy the professor's prowess under attack.

Deon Meyer's books are a feast of complex characters, great fight scenes, pure love, dirty politics, and glorious African landscapes. Heart of the Hunter is a particularly wonderful example of his work.


Feedback