Gotta love Deon Meyer. I hate the way so many fictional cops are such broken characters - particularly alcoholic - but somehow Bennie Griessel is completely believable and lovable. Perhaps it's because he's an alcoholic but NOT a drinker. He's reformed and trying to do right, and while he does try to explain WHY he became a drunk he doesn't try to excuse his drinking.
Benny suffers from a lack of self esteem, but he doesn't let it stop him from doing his job. In this story, Benny's splitting his time between his job and trying to keep his new girlfriend sober. Alexa is a mirror to Benny's own problems. Benny can't understand why someone as talented as Alexa would be plagued by the demon of self-doubt, but of course he's equally talented in his own field, and has the same feelings of inadequacy.
In the end Benny solves his crime, but not fast enough to suit him. People are hurt, people die, and Benny even gets credited for what he thinks is other people's success, but the fact is, they wouldn't have succeeded without him.