Clumsy record of turbulent 1980s

Title: The Necklace!

Title: The Necklace!

Author: Jacob Motsamai

Publisher: Jacob Motsamai

Reviewer: Namhla Tshisela

Jacob Motsamai should be commended for his enterprising spirit.

He wrote, designed the cover and published his first short novel. But sadly this is where my admiration for Motsamai's book ends.

He resorts to gimmicks to endorse his book, including a "letter of support" from former president, Nelson Mandela.

He critiques his own work, calling the book "fast and very interesting, it's like a roller coaster".

The Necklace! is set in the turbulent 1980s. The title refers to the gruesome manner in which suspected apartheid police informers were killed.

A tyre doused with petrol would be put around a traitor's neck which would then be set alight.

Motsamai introduces the reader to a strange set of characters so laughable that they only manage to undermine the narrative.

The baddies are characterised by their "brutal looking" faces, a description that comes up more than once. The most evil of the characters, is a police chief, Koekemer, who is said to look like a "happy gorilla".

The narrative kicks off with the murder of a teacher accused of being an informer. Six pupils are accused of the murder.

They flee their homes but one is caught and is killed. In their search for the boys, the police kill Molefe's father while he is in hiding.

Molefe avenges the murder of father and a friend by killing Koekemer. He is forced to leave the country because the police are hot on his heels.

The story continues in "Return of the Exiles. This should give Motsamai a chance to brush up on numerous spelling mistakes, bad dialogue and poor story telling in The Necklace!