This morning, as part of its daily book review slot on the Nine to Noon programme, Radio New Zealand addressed Paul Cleave's latest dark thriller, BLOOD MEN, released in New Zealand tomorrow.
One of the great things about the Nine to Noon show, hosted by Kathryn Ryan - who also regularly does interviews with New Zealand and visiting authors - is that they do semi-regularly cover some crime and thriller titles. They're also fascinating reviews to listen to, because rather than being just a print review of a reviewer's thoughts, Ryan 'interviews' the reviewer, and asks them questions about the book, drawing out comments. So it's more of a dialogue, than a monologue - which is a nice change of pace.
And I know a lot of the time I can come across as a bit dissatisfied with the coverage that New Zealand crime fiction is generally given here in its own country, but I must admit that things do seem to be improving lately (coupled with more authors putting out more books), and Radio New Zealand is certainly doing its part in leading the way.
Today the reviewer was fellow blogger Graham "Bookman" Beattie, who is (deservedly) highly-regarded in the New Zealand book industry. He is the former head of Penguin Books, a Book Awards judge, a Books Editor, and is now an acclaimed blogger and consultant to the industry.
Beattie admits during the review that BLOOD MEN is a fair bit darker and more violent than the crime books he generally prefers, but he still thinks its an excellent psychological thriller. "It's a real page-turner," says Beattie. "It's not for the faint-hearted... for people who like these sort of psychological thrillers, this one is about as good as I have read in a long time actually."
You can listen to the Bookman's full review of BLOOD MEN here, or you can read the text of the radio review on his fantastic blog here (once he places it online, which he usually does quite promptly). His blog is well-worth visiting on a regular basis.
Hopefully positive reviews like this one (from someone well-known and respected in the NZ Books industry) will help more Kiwis, and others, realise that with writers like Paul Cleave, there are plenty of reasons to read NZ 'popular fiction', as well as our literary stuff.
Have you read Paul Cleave's earlier books? What do you think? What do you think of the Bookman's review? Does BLOOD MEN sound like something you might enjoy?