Blog Archives

Revenge, arguments and silliness, Bernard Carpinter

Marlborough Man
Alan Carter
Fremantle Press, $38.00,
ISBN 978125164534

Presumed Guilty
Mark McGinn
Merlot Publishing, $33.00,
ISBN 9781513618609

The Empty Coffin
Gary Moore
Mary Egan Publishing, $30.00,
ISBN 9780473388959

Fans of New Zealand crime fiction can add one more name to the rather compact list of excellent local writers. The name is Alan Carter, and he’s actually an import, but his Marlborough Man is authentic Kiwi through and through. Originally from Sunderland in northeast England, Carter, emigrated to Perth in 1991, later began splitting his time between Perth and the Marlborough Sounds, and now lives in Havelock at the base of the Sounds.

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Crime wave, Bernard Carpinter

Running Towards Danger
Tina Clough
Vanguard Press, $30.00,
ISBN 97811784650100

Blood, Wine and Chocolate
Julie Thomas
HarperCollins, $35.00
ISBN 9781775540533

Something Is Rotten
Adam Sarafis
Echo, $35.00
ISBN 9781760067762

New Zealand crime fiction is booming. The long list for the Ngaio Marsh Award this year comprised nine books and the five on the short list are all very good. Those books are, in no particular order, Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave, The Petticoat Men by Barbara Ewing, Swimming in the Dark by Paddy Richardson, The Children’s Pond by Tina Shaw and Fallout by Paul Thomas.

Thomas and Cleave, in particular, have given New Zealand crime fiction credibility, their lively prose delivering crackling plots, larger-than-life characters and even humour. And they are distinctively Kiwi books; Thomas’s protagonist of five novels, Tito Ihaka, is Māori and well versed in the blunter forms of the Kiwi vernacular.

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Victims and villains, Bernard Carpinter

Joe Victim
Paul Cleave
Penguin Books
ISBN 9780143570424

Drowning City
Ben Atkins
Vintage
ISBN 9781775535522

“The Christchurch Carver” is the name bestowed by the media upon Joe Middleton, the central character of Paul Cleave’s debut novel, The Cleaner. Joe is a serial rapist and killer of attractive young women and – a brave but successful move by Cleave – the narrator. Joe enjoys his criminal adventures, describing them with relish and flashes of dark humour. He also enjoys being smarter than all the cops, especially as he works as a cleaner at the police station, where he pretends to be retarded.

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The truth or else, Bernard Carpinter

Collecting Cooper Paul Cleave Penguin Books, $35.00, ISBN 9780143568025 The Laughterhouse Paul Cleave Penguin Books, $38.00, ISBN 9780143568292 The Faceless Vanda Symon Penguin Books, $30.00, ISBN 9780143567202 By Any Means Ben Sanders HarperCollins, $24.99, ISBN 9781869508777 New Zealand crime fiction

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Ongoing investigations, Bernard Carpinter

Death on Demand Paul Thomas Hodder Moa, $36.99, ISBN 9781869712334   Traces of Red Paddy Richardson Penguin, $30.00, ISBN 9780143565765   Bound Vanda Symon Penguin, $30.00, ISBN 9780143565277   Ihaka is back – and about time, too. It’s around 15

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Bovver boys

What they wrote A taste of contributor comments over our first 20 years   On New Zealand Books My hope is that New Zealand Books will provide a forum for frank discussion that dares to rise above the suffocating confines

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Brave or innocent, Bernard Carpinter

Slaughter Falls Alix Bosco Penguin Books, $39.00, ISBN 9780143203995   The Crime of Huey Dunstan James McNeish Vintage, $36.99, ISBN 9781869793159   The Fallen Ben Sanders HarperCollins, $29.99, ISBN 9781869508760   The field of crime writing is an expansive one,

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The voice of the monster, Bernard Carpinter

Blood Men Paul Cleave Black Swan, $36.99, ISBN 978869792718 Containment Vanda Symon Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143202295 Cut and Run Alix Bosco Penguin Books, $37.00, ISBN 9780143011910 What Remains Behind Dorothy Fowler Black Swan, $29.99, ISBN 9781869792084 New Zealand’s reputation

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Good clean fun, Bernard Carpinter

Bold Blood Lindy Kelly HarperCollins, $36.99, ISBN 9781869507336 Full Moon Fever David Rodewald Rodewald Family Trust, $25.00,  ISBN 9780473132736 The Bone Tiki David Hair HarperCollins, $19.99, ISBN 9781869507343 Bold Blood comes with a foreword recommendation from Mark Todd, which may

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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review, Young adults

Murder most foul, Bernard Carpinter

Cemetery Lake Paul Cleave Random House, $34.99, ISBN 9781869418908 The Ringmaster  Vanda Symon Penguin Books, $28.00, ISBN 9780143008347 The Devils Are Here Cam Stokes Cape Catley, $29.99, ISBN 9781877340192 Christ Clone David McLeod Random House, $35.99, ISBN 9781869419592 Christchurch is

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