Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer was born in the South African town of Paarl in the winelands of the Western Cape in 1958, and grew up in Klerksdorp, in the gold mining region of Northwest Province.

After military duty and studying at the Potchefstroom University, he joined Die Volksblad, a daily newspaper in Bloemfontein as a reporter. Before becoming a full-time crime author in 2009 he also worked as press liaison, advertising copywriter, creative director, Internet strategist, and brand consultant. Deon completed an honours degree in History (UFS), and an MA in Creative Writing at the US.

He wrote his first book when he was 14 years old, and bribed and blackmailed his two brothers into reading it. They were not impressed (hey, everybody is a critic ...)

Heeding their wisdom, he did not write fiction again until he was in his early thirties, when he started publishing short stories in South African magazines.

"I still believe that is the best way to learn the craft of writing. Short stories teach you a lot about story structure - and you have limited space to develop character and plot," says Deon.

In 1994 he published his first Afrikaans novel, which has not been translated, "simply because it was not good enough to compete on the international market. However, it was a wonderful learning experience".

All later novels have been translated into 27 languages, including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Korean, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Russian, Finnish, Czech, Romanian, Slovakian and Bulgarian.

He has written several feature film screenplays based on his short stories, including Jakhalsdans, Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee, and Die Laaste Tango (he also directed the latter), and two series for television - Orion (based on Dead at Daybreak) and Transito. The film rights of Thirteen Hours have been sold to an international production company, and most of his other novels have been optioned for movies.

Deon lives near Cape Town. His big passions are motorcycling, music (he is a Mozart fanatic, but loves rock 'n roll too), reading, cooking and rugby (he unconditionally supports the national Springbok team and the Free State Cheetahs provincial team).




  • ATKV Prize for Best Suspense Fiction, 2014, South Africa.


7 Days

  • 'Shot in Translation', best translated crime novel award from Shots Magazine (2012)
  • M-Net Prize for Most Filmic Novel, 2012, South Africa.
  • ATKV Prize for Best Suspense Fiction, 2012, South Africa.
  • Booksellers’ Choice Award, 2011/2012, by the South African Booksellers Association (SABA).



  • Nominated one of the Ten Best Crime Novels by KrimiZeit (Die Zeit, Germany).

    Thirteen Hours

    • Barry Award for Best Thriller, 2011, USA.
    • Boeke Prize Fanatics Choice Award, 2011 , Exclusive Books, South Africa.
    • Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger award in the UK, 2010.
    • ATKV Prize for Best Suspense Fiction, 2009, South Africa.
    • M-Net Award in the Film Category in 2009, South Africa.
    • Shortlisted for the 2011 Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel, USA.


    Blood Safari

    • Weisser Schatten receives the German Krimi Award in 2009.
    • Inaugural ATKV Prize for Best Suspense Fiction in 2008, South Africa.

      Devil's Peak

    • Martin Beck Award (“Den gyllene kofoten” or The golden crowbar) by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers in 2010.
    • Le pic du diable, wins the Readers’ Award from for Best Crime Novel or Thriller in 2010, France.
    • ATKV Prose Prize for 2004, South Africa.

      Heart of the Hunter

      • ATKV Prose Prize for 2003, South Africa.
      • Das Herz des Jagers wins a Deutsche Krimi Preis in 2006, Germany.


      Dead at Daybreak

      • Död i Gryningen shortlisted for The Martin Beck Award for best translated crime fiction in 2008, Sweden.
      • Best television script for the South African series by the ATKV in 2007.
      • ATKV Prose Prize for 2000, South Africa.
      • Les Soldats de l'aube wins the French Le prix Mystère de la critique, 2004.
      • Shortlisted for the M-Net Book Prize, Sputh Africa.
      • Shortlisted for the Sunday Times Literary Prize, South Africa.


      Dead before Dying

      • Jusqu'au Dernier wins Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, 2003, France.



      • Deon wins in the language, written and oral literature category of the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) annual multilingualism awards for 2010.