This is indeed a story of mercy – and the redemption it offers.
On the eve of his retirement, Spokes Moloi, a police officer of spotless integrity, investigates one final crime: the possible murder of Emil Coetzee, head of the sinister Organisation of Domestic Affairs, who disappears on the same day a ceasefire is declared and the country’s independence beckons. In following the tangled threads of Coetzee’s life, Spokes raises and resolves conundrums that have haunted him, and his country, for decades under colonial rule. In all this, he is staunchly supported by his paragon spouse, Loveness, and his unofficially adopted daughter, the unorthodox postman Dikiledi.
In her most magnificent novel yet, award-winning author Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu showcases the history of a country transitioning from a colonial to a postcolonial state with a deft touch and a compassionate eye for poignant detail. Linked to The Theory of Flight and The History of Man, Ndlovu’s novel nevertheless stands alone in its evocation of life in the City of Kings and surrounding villages. Dickensian in its scope, with the proverbial bustling cast of colleagues both good and bad, villagers, guerrillas, neighbours, ex-soldiers, suburban madams, shopkeepers, would-be politicians and more, The Quality of Mercy proposes that ties of kinship and affiliation can never be completely broken – and that love can heal even the most grievous of wounds.