Title: Black Heart
Author: Mike Nicol
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2011
ISBN 9781415201176 / ISBN 978-1-4152-0117-6
Softcover, 15 x 22 cm, 336 pages
Grainy black-and-white cctv footage: a man, tallish, bulked out in an anorak, a beanie covering his hair, face down, walking towards the camera along a corridor. Upmarket corridor: marble tiles on the walls and floor, three large photographs of wild beaches hanging on the right-hand side. The photographs in wall-mounted aluminium frames. On the left, two doors. On each the apartment number stencilled in black filling most of the door: 7, 8. A funky touch. At number eight, the man stops, keeping his back to the camera. His head bent forward like he was listening for movement inside the flat, except from the tremor in his shoulders he has to be working something with his hands. Forty seconds spool by, the door pops open. The man rolls down his beanie that becomes a balaclava covering his face. Looks up at the cctv camera.
'Nice touch,' said the woman watching the footage on her laptop. Speaking aloud, smiling. She tapped the keyboard with her gloved hand to pause the image. Caught her own face reflecting on the screen: her high cheekbones, pencilled eyebrows, the plum richness of her lips. Her latte face ghosting over that of the balaclavaed man. She puckered her lips in a kiss. Putsch.
He was good, the balaclavaed man. Only one or two people she knew could've done it faster. She smiled. Raised her gloved hand to touch the face. 'Mace Bishop,' she said. "Welcome to my world.' [...]