Winner, Outstanding Fiction Book Prize, National Arts Merit Awards (Zimbabwe)
Shortlist, 2023 Sunday Times Literary Awards
From 2022 Windham Campbell Prize winner Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu, the breathtaking conclusion to her multiple award-winning City of Kings trilogy, including The Theory of Flight and The History of Man, “Perhaps the most monumental trilogy to come out of Southern Africa.”—Afrocritik
Everyone saw Emil Coetzee drive into the bush the day the ceasefire was announced. Beatrice, busy consoling her friend Kuki over the loss of her son and marriage. Dikeledi, the postwoman who refuses to lean. Tom, the drunk who makes his living impersonating Emil in backroads bars. Vida de Villiers, stuck in a coin-toss choice. Saskia, the feisty reporter determined to ruin Emil’s name. Marion, the enigmatic lover he left behind. Mrs. Louisa Alcott, the lonely farm wife reading Mills & Boon romances in her best dress, waiting for her life to begin. But nobody saw him drive out of it.
So begins the investigation of Spokes Moloi, the first black chief inspector in the City of Kings, who on the eve of his retirement is handed one final crime: the possible murder of Mr. Coetzee, the notorious head of the Organization of Domestic Affairs, who disappeared on the same day the country's independence beckoned. In investigating Emil’s disappearance, Spokes' path collides with an assortment of witnesses with the best and worst of intentions—including a pair of corrupt investigators with an eye towards framing the guerrilla icon Golide Gumede for Emil’s murder, and the insatiable public, infatuated with Emil and unable to come to terms with the fact that the future they had so long anticipated had, at last, arrived.
With a nation in flux and his beloved wife Loveness forever present in his mind, Spokes’ investigation leads him back to the very beginning— and gives him one last chance to solve the twenty-year-old murder case that determined both the path of his life and destiny of his country.