Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some crime/thriller highlights from the book releases in New Zealand this month

Spring is in the air (down here in New Zealand) as the calendar turns the page to the 1st of September (happy birthday little sis), and with that seasonal reinvigoration, perhaps it's time to look ahead at some of the great crime/thriller titles hitting our shores (and booksellers' shelves) this month. I've been fortunate to already receive and review a few September titles, and links to any such reviews will be posted as they're published, but for now here are a few highlights to look forward to:

For followers of Kiwi crime and thriller fiction, one of the undoubted highlights of the coming month is the launch of BLOOD BOND by Michael Green, the second book in his post-pandemic trilogy set in NZ and the UK, and the oceans in between. The book is being launched at the Gulf Harbour Yacht Club on Sunday 13 September at 3pm, with part of the proceeds (including author royalties) being donated to LifeLine.

You can read more about the book launch, and the book itself, at: http://kiwicrime.blogspot.com/2009/08/book-launch-blood-bond-new-kiwi.html

Another somewhat Kiwi-related highlight this month is the release of OR SHE DIES by Gregg Hurwitz. Hurwitz will be visiting New Zealand this month (see sidebar) so locals will have an opportunity to meet this acclaimed crime writer, screenwriter, graphic novellist, and Shakespearean scholar (phew, I got tired just typing that).

In OR SHE DIES, Patrick receives DVDs in the post. They show footage of him and his wife washing, dressing, going to work - all taken by cameras hidden in his house. Someone is out to get him. And then the emails start arriving: Tell No One. Go Alone. OR SHE DIES. Patrick's life is turned upside down. Suddenly, this is a matter of life and death. He must follow the instructions on the email if he is to survive...
You can read more about Hurwitz and his New Zealand visit at: http://kiwicrime.blogspot.com/2009/08/international-star-gregg-hurwitz-to.html

From the pens/PCs of some other great international authors, this month we can also look forward to:

IN THE BLOOD by J.A Kerley (formerly wrote under "Jack Kerley") - the fifth instalment in his excellent Carson Ryder series takes the young detective back home to Alabama, following the NYC adventures of BLOOD BROTHER. But Ryder is still troubled by the events of that book – including his part in helping his brother Jeremy, an escaped killer, evade capture.

Now, back alongside partner Harry Nautilus, Ryder finds himself facing a bizarre case that brings together an infant abandoned Moses-like in the warm Gulf waters, a harpooned body in a burnt-out shack, and a high-profile firebrand preacher bound and beaten to death in an apparent S&M session.

THE SILENT HOUR by Michael Koryta - the latest instalment in the award-winning Lincoln Perry series. Private investigator Perry is asked by Parker Harrison - a convicted killer and former parolee at the majestic and now defunct Whisper Ridge centre - to find Alexandra, who disappeared with her husband after the failure of the parolee program. When Perry discovers that skeletal remains of Alexandra's husband were found at the same time Harrison asked Perry to try and locate her, the police investigation becomes active again, and a decade-old threats starts circling... You can read an extract of THE SILENT HOUR at: http://www.allenandunwin.com/_uploads/BookPdf/Extract/9781741757835.pdf

STILL MIDNIGHT by Denise Mina - the new novel from one of crime writing's rising stars, part of the growing wave of 'Tartan Noir', who fellow Scot Ian Rankin describes as "one of the most exciting writers to have emerged in Britain for years".

One Sunday evening in Glasgow, armed men in balaclavas smash into a house and hold a family at gunpoint, demanding millions of pounds When the baffled family protest that they don't have that kind of money, the attackers kidnap the elderly grandfather and storm off into the night. Senior policewoman Alex Morrow issummoned to investigate the case. But there are so many mysteries. Who were the men? And why did they think a normal household concealed untold riches? As she starts to delve deeper, she realises that there are dark secrets all around, including her own...

THE SALATI CASE by Tobias Jones - Set in the fog of a northern Italian winter, this new crime novel introduces Castagnetti ('Casta'), a private detective with a hard-boiled exterior and a soft centre. When a pompous notary commissions him to verify that a missing person is 'presumed dead' in order to dispose of a dead woman's estate to the other heirs, Casta smells a rat. Before long he's reopening wounds from years ago and exposing family secrets to those who have tried to suppress them.

As the case progresses, other corpses appear and Casta realises he's at the centre of an old-fashioned Italian whodunnit. THE SALATI CASE marks the appearance of a new and memorable detective: an orphan who has pulled himself up from the mean streets.

SIREN by Tara Moss - the latest from the Sydney-based bestseller and former model. Hero Mak Vanderwall - street-wise former model, graduate in forensic psychology, and now PI - is back in Sydney and has been hired by a concerned mother to track down her missing nineteen-year-old son.

Mak finds he's run off with a troupe of French performers sweeping through Australia. Has he been seduced by the alluring and amoral older French woman who has a terrifying starring role in the show? And what of the rumours of death and murder that have plagued the mysterious troupe for the past decade? Is their shady past fact or fiction?

Meanwhile, Mak is increasingly obsessed with the powerful and ruthless Cavanagh family - one of Australia’s richest and most influential families, whom she believes got away with murder... and may now be after her...

THE PRICE OF LOVE by Peter Robinson - the latest from the author of the acclaimed DCI Banks series.

This book contains a brand new novella that fills in the gaps in Banks's life before Yorkshire, and Peter Robinson also gives us ten more "brilliant and eclectic stories" that have never before been published. The Eastvale Ladies' Poker Circle finds that murder may be just another game of risk. Is a suitcase of cash worth a man's head on a plate? And tragedy leads a young boy to learn the price of love . . .

FEVER OF THE BONE by Val McDermid - the latest from the CWA Gold Dagger-winning author of 22 bestselling novels, which have been translated into 30 languages, and have sold over 10 million copies.

Tony Hill's face his most twisted adversary - a killer with a shopping list of victims, a killer unmoved by youth and innocence, a killer driven by the most perverted of desires. The murder and mutilation of teenager Jennifer Maidment is horrific enough on its own. But it's not long before Hill realises it's just the start of a brutal and ruthless campaign that's targeting an apparently unconnected group of young people. Struggling with the newly-awakened ghosts of his own past and desperate for distraction in his work, Hill battles to find the answers that will give him personal and professional satisfaction in "his most testing investigation yet".

... So, there looks like there are some pretty good releases this month. Which crime fiction titles are you looking forward to? Will any of these be on your must-read lists?


  1. Sigh, so many books, so little time...

  2. I've just started THE SILENT HOUR by Michael Koryta - my first taste of his writing. Really good so far. Young guy, but people have favourably compared him to guys like Connelly and Lehane. Personally I don't like hyperbole or those kind of comparison, but so far I am loving the book, and can see why some people might make them... it's good quality stuff.