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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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