As the 1980s draw to a close, South Africa is a maelstrom of political violence with the apartheid regime in its death throes. Young Martin Helger is the struggling odd duck at an elite private boys school in Johannesburg, with his father a rough-handed scrap dealer and his brother a mysterious legend.
When a beautiful and manipulative American arrives at the family home, Martin soon finds himself wrenched out of his isolated bubble and thrust into the raw heart of the struggle. At the same time, secrets from the past begin to emerge and old sins long buried return in terrifying new ways, tearing at the Helgers, a second-generation Jewish family, even as the larger forces of history and politics tear apart the country as a whole. Mercy is in short supply and ultimately Martin must rely on alternative strengths to protect himself and fight for a better future.
From the acclaimed author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning debut novel The Lion Seeker, The Mandela Plot is at once a riveting literary thriller, a moving coming of age tale, and an unforgettable journey through a world that entertains and terrifies in equal measure, and holds profound resonance for the present moment.