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Critical But, Stable
Critical But, Stable is a murder mystery/ thriller centered around four couples who from the outside are the picture of #blacklove and #Loveliveshere.
They are all successful in their own right and part of a high-end stokvel called Khula Social Club. The idea behind the club is to pull funds together and collectively make short term investments while socializing with the ‘right’ people. In reality, none of them really need the money, the social club is an excuse to have extravagant parties and keep up appearance.
We quickly learn that nothing is as it seems in the novel’s opening scene where a man is looking down at the naked body of a beautiful woman, who might be dead. We don’t know who either of them are but immediately sense that something bad has happened and she shouldn’t be where she is. As we get to know the couples we learn that behind closed doors they all face serious challenges in their relationships. Debt, sexual frustration and dangerous ambitions threaten to destroy everything they’ve built so far. They all try to deal with their issues quietly but as the opening scene suggests their journeys are anything but smooth. As the story progresses we piece together clues to who the woman might be and what happened to her.
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Angela Makholwa Moabelo is a South African author born and raised in the East Rand township of Tembisa. Angela worked as a journalist, reporting mostly on crime in the 1990’s. As a young journalist, Angela was concerned about the scourge of crime in South Africa and focused her energies on covering crime stories in the townships of Johannesburg. In the late 1990’s, South Africa’s East Rand townships were gripped by a wave of violent rapes and killings of young women. A pattern emerged that led police to believe that a serial killer was behind these crimes. Like many crime reporters, Angela followed this story with interest until the killer was finally arrested and convicted of serial homicide.
He was given multiple life sentences and went onto serve his jail term at the Pretoria Maximum Security Prison. The man approached Angela to write a book on his life story. After months of visiting the maximum security prison in order to gather research material for the biography, Angela decided to abandon the project due to professional and personal reasons. The serial killer started sending disturbing letters to her postal address, which further exacerbated her decision to terminate the project.
A few years later, she decided to resuscitate the manuscript in the form of a fictional novel, which was published by Pan Macmillan in 2007 under the title ‘Red Ink’. The book was the first South African crime thriller with an African female protagonist.
Angela went onto publish The 30th Candle in 2009 and The Black Widow Society in 2013.
Angela has gained critical and popular acclaim for her contribution to African literature and has been nominated for several literary awards. The crime and women’s fiction writer has been invited to speak at a number of local and international literary events and is committed to the advancement of literature on the African continent.
She works with a number of South African writers to encourage the love of reading amongst township and rural youth through various initiatives, including Read SA, a non-profit organisation.
Angela Makholwa Moabelo is currently working on her fourth fiction novel due for release in the last quarter of 2017. When she is not writing, Angela runs digital marketing and communications agency Britespark Communications in Midrand, Johannesburg and is Non-Executive Director at legal insurance company, LIPCO Law For All.
She is married with two children and... one husband.
In order to purge herself of the demons of ageing that were haunting her, she devoted this episode of her life to penning her next novel, "The 30th Candle" - a book that revolves around four university friends who deal differently with the milestone of turning 30.
The "Black Widow Society" followed in 2013 - the book is the realisation of a dream to write a crime suspense novel that will hopefully challenge and entertain the reader... while giving them a sleepless night or two.