Kiwi crime writers on fire

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Newsletter

I read a lot, and I read fast. At least I like to think I do. Yet, even though it is only halfway through the year, I have a strong suspicion I will be beaten by my Goodreads target for 2022. By a long shot.

That target is 150. That is 150 books I need to consume by December 31st. As of today o’clock I am about a third the way through (20 books behind schedule. Yikes). In hindsight it was a bit ambitious, but we should aim for the stars, right? Right.

I entered a Hennessey adventure in this year’s Ngaio Marsh Awards, which as you may know is a celebration of Kiwi thriller, crime and mystery writers. Unfortunately Dying Grass Moon didn’t make the cut, but when I saw the twelve books on the best novel longlist released this week, well. The list is a thing of beauty. It includes international award winners and, at last count, three of these authors’ works are being adapted for TV.

New Zealand fiction in general is going great guns, but if you’re looking particularly for a cracking mystery or thriller, take your pick from the titles below. You can’t go wrong.

  • Isobar Precinct: Angelique Kasmara
  • The Devils You Know: Ben Sanders
  • City of Vengeance: D.V. Bishop
  • Before You Knew My Name: Jacqueline Bublitz
  • Waking the Tiger: Mark Wightman
  • Quiet in Her Bones: Nalini Singh
  • Nancy Business: R.W.R. McDonald
  • She’s a Killer: Kirsten McDougall
  • The Last Guests: J.P. Pomare
  • Polaroid Nights: Lizzie Harwood
  • To the Sea: Nikki Crutchley
  • The Quiet People: Paul Cleave

It’s a wrap! Super-excited that the Hennessey novella, which is set approximately ten years before One For Another, has been formatted and is just about ready to go.

Did you know . . .

  • Beavers can move underwater at about 6mph and may stay submerged for 6-8 minutes.
  • The largest beaver dam in the world – which is nearly 800m long – can seen from space via satellite.
  • In 1948, due to the encroachment of housing etc, a number of beavers were relocated from their habitat to McCall and Payette Lake in Idaho. How were they transported? Plane. They were dropped, individually, by parachute into their new home. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true, and there is even an old film that was discovered proving it.

Take care and happy reading,

P.S. Feel free to send a message. I’d love to hear from you.

On my bedside table at the moment is Sanctuary, by Luca D’Andrea.

Marlene escapes her controlling crime boss husband after stealing a fortune in sapphires from his safe. A hard man who does not forgive, her husband sends a contract killer known only as The Trusted Man after his wife.

I’m a complete wuss when it comes to anything scary. I can’t watch or read horror and, although I believe Stephen King is a genius, can only read or watch his less fearsome work like The Shawshank Redemption or The Green Mile.

Sanctuary is written in a style along the lines of To Cook a Bear, by Mikael Niemi. Both are amazing reads, but at various points I nearly had a heart attack reading them.

“Speak your mind, but ride a very fast horse.”

Accredited to numerous sources

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