When public relations consultant and ex-journalist Lucy Khambule – young, beautiful and ambitious – receives an unexpected call from Napoleon Dingiswayo – a convicted serial killer, nicknamed The Butcher by the media – her life takes a dramatic turn. Dingiswayo wants Lucy to tell his story. Intrigued by Dingiswayo’s approach, Lucy decides to take this opportunity to fulfil her life-long dream of writing a book, but it comes at a cost she could never have imagined.
After their initial contact, Dingiswayo becomes an all-too-obliging subject and Lucy soon discovers that her choice of topic is not for the faint-hearted. Soon after meeting him in Pretoria’s notorious C-Max Prison, Lucy’s world is turned upside down by a series of violent and disturbing events.
Dingiswayo is behind bars, but Lucy begins to suspect that the brutal attacks may have something to do with him. Who is this frightening man, and what motivates him? As Lucy learns that there is more to Dingiswayo’s story than the police discovered, she is forced to decide what price she is willing to pay to pursue her dream.
Red Ink is a gripping thriller. Set in present-day Johannesburg, it has a distinctly local flavour and brings the city to life through all its contrasts and contradictions.
‘With Red Ink Makholwa has taken the South African urban novel to new heights. By turns gritty and shocking yet tender at the core, Red Ink is an important addition to the canon of modern fiction in this country.’
– Fred Khumalo