Come into our cells to pick a woman like they were picking fruit. Nice, hmm? After that recycling thing. I can hear them laughing. The sort of stuff can make you want to get even. Makes you fantasize about revenge. My stuff, Bishop. Thanks to you. I remember thinking that. Everything was blurred. Standing next to me. This white angel with all the blond hair. The devil angel. Staring down at my body, my breasts, my thighs. You remember you crouched down, touched my cheek. Then my nipples. If he did, surely this is every bit as bad as her being a spy, if not worse?
History is history. Fact is fact. Fact is, you know, I was an agent. That hated type, an apartheid spy. How about that? And nobody ever knew for sure. I was good. You have to admit, I was good. End result? I got information on all the big players. Both sides. The lowdown. The dirt. You know, paper in the stock market sense? Like a share that can be converted into money. Hard cash. Come the new country I ditched the whiteys, bedded down with the Downloaded by [University of Stellenbosch] at 02 April darkies.
I snuggled up, got even more paper on them: who got arms deal kickbacks, who got lifestyle changes, which gangster bought presents for which cabinet minister. You know, that sort of thing. Who got farms, cars, houses, holidays, directorships. Whose family ended up with the major contracts. What can I tell you? In this world, the rich and powerful are the ones with the lowdown.
Wird oft zusammen gekauft
So there you go, Bishop. Story of my life. However, although she embodies such moral decay, and trades on it, it cannot be pinned on her alone. It precedes her and will succeed her, too. This wider complexity of ethical corruption is consistent with neo-noir convention, and especially its global variant Kochlar-Lindgren ; Peckham The possibility that Shemina was in fact a spy, that is if her claim is not mere mockery and taunt — which is decidedly possible — ultimately does not matter, as any claim to moral superiority, on any side, has comprehensively been surrendered.
Still, how does Nicol resolve the plot? Shemina must be destroyed, or else she must kill Bishop. But Bishop cannot be allowed to kill Shemina — he is a formerly privileged white man up against a newly empow- ered, previously disadvantaged black woman, after all. In the event, Velaze shoots Shemina in the back of the head just as she is about to kill Bishop. She knew too much, and she was getting to be too dangerous for too many people in power.
Or so the plotline goes, not implausibly, although very conveniently, it must be added. This, at least, seems to be the message Nicol is tacitly underlining, that is to say, within a more sympathetic reading of his use of genre, despite certain troubling elements of gender-displacement. Not only is the world of neo- noir one in which male primacy has been dethroned, but it also ushers in a world in which disambiguation on a larger scale seems all but impossible.
The implication of Mart Velaze killing Shemina — that is, of death at the betraying hands of someone on her own side — is that the system breaks down by the force of its own entropy, its own accel- erating momentum towards disorder and, eventually, chaos.
White, male agency under post-apartheid is necessarily curtailed. See also Julie Grossman in addition to the gendered studies cited in the main text of this article. In De Kock b. Despite this novelistic vision being somewhat compromised by its troublingly gendered com- plexion, the sense of a rotten, overripe political dispensation is widespread among post-apart- heid writers of all hues.
References Allen, M. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bond, P. Boozer, J. Africa Works: Disorder as Political Instrument. Oxford: James Curry. Coetzee, J. English Studies in Africa 23 1 : 41—58 republished in White Writing. Comaroff, J. Law and Disorder in the Postcolony. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Crais, C. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Crowther, B. New York: Continuum. De Kock, L. Doane, M. New York: Routledge. Dresser, D. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Farramond, K. PhD thesis, Newcastle University. Gledhill, C. Kaplan ed , Women in Film Noir. London: British Film Institute. Grossman, J. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Habib, A. Haggard, H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hartley, R. Ragged Glory. Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball. Hyslop, J. Journal of Southern African Studies 31 4 : — Kochlar-Lindgren, G. Kozain, R. McGregor Poetry Festival: Anthology. Cape Town: African Sun Press. Lodge, T. African Affairs 97 : — Martin, R.
Lanham: Scarecrow. Mbeki, M. Johannesburg: Picador Africa. Mbembe, A. Mda, Z. The Madonna of Excelsior. Meyer, D. Heart of the Hunter K. Seegers trans. Mhlongo, N. Way Back Home. Cape Town: Kwela. Millin, S. London: Constable. Nicol, M. This Day and Age. London: Bloomsbury. A Good-looking Corpse. The Ibis Tapestry. New York: Knopf. Cape Town: Umuzi. Killer Country. Black Heart paints a vivid portrait of the moral confusion of post-apartheid society. If Deon Meyer is still the king of South African crime fiction, Mike Nicol is a clear heir apparent, not too far behind.
Used Black Heart (Revenge Trilogy) on OnBuy
This is not just superb genre writing: it is superb writing, period, and proves that the thriller, at its best, can both entertain and provoke, while tackling serious issues with the lightest of touches. A wealthy Native American couple, looking to invest in a local casino development. A German weapons scientist, on the run from a gang of Eastern European thugs. Ordinary enough security jobs for Mace Bishop and Pylon Buso, it seems, but when one of the Americans is kidnapped and a local reporter starts showing too much interest in the scientist's murky Balkan past, things quickly spiral out of control.
Mace, raw from the murder of his wife, soon finds himself fighting for his own survival while struggling to hold onto his grief-stricken teenage daughter. Behind the scenes, everywhere and nowhere, the beautiful and sinister Sheemina February pulls the strings, stalking him at every turn, intent on revenge for past misdeeds. Mace's only hope is to find her before she gets to him. A razor-sharp thriller, a devastating portrait of political corruption and featuring an exquisitely nasty villain, Black Heart is a stylish, unmissable entertainment.
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Showing of 3 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Format: Paperback Verified Purchase. Not bad, considering. Nice reading, full of surprises. He becomes better and better.
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. All of the Revenge Trilogy are worth reading. Great descriptions of Cape Town and the new South Africa. Highly recommended. This book gives a very good feel for post apartheid South Africa and has a great story. See all 3 reviews. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase.
I had actually never seen anything by Mike Nicol before I unwittingly stumbled onto his second book in a bookshop in the Mace Bishop Trilogy Killer Country.