Thursday, July 22, 2010

'Tis the season: Upcoming Kiwi novels...

Hmm... maybe there's something in the air, but as we start heading towards Spring here in New Zealand, there certainly seems to be some crime fiction momentum building down this way. Along with the upcoming Setting the Stage for Murder event at the upcoming 2010 The Press Christchurch Writers' Festival, where the inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be announced, and some other great crime/thriller events at the festival, there are also several other international crime fiction authors visiting New Zealand in August and September (RJ Ellory, Val McDermid, Peter Robinson, and Peter James), and there are some new Kiwi crime novels (and authors) hitting the shelves too!

Snowball, anyone?

Today, I thought I'd highlight a couple of the new Kiwi crime releases that will be available very soon - one from a debutant author, and the other the second novel from a 2009 debutant.

Last month I published the press release from HarperCollins about its new author, 20-year-old engineering student Ben Sanders, whose debut crime thriller, THE FALLEN, will be instore 2 August. Now here is the back-cover 'blurb' for THE FALLEN:

"When local cop Sean Devereaux, who enjoys skating close to the edge, does a favour for his attractive neighbour, he unwittingly exposes a web of deceit and corruption.

As he investigates the murder of a 16-year-old Epsom ′princess′ in his day job, his after-hours efforts have him stumbling into the aftermath of a scam involving senior colleagues, and he is soon enmeshed in an escalating cycle of kidnapping, murder and violent mayhem.

With his unconventional ex-colleague-turned-security-specialist John Hale, Devereaux slowly begins to unravel the truth as the body count climbs and the stakes become personal. As an outwardly terse, street-savvy operator, Sean Devereaux emerges as an engaging and irreverent hero, becoming the catalyst for an absorbing, strangely uneasy murder mystery, set in unnervingly familiar surroundings.

A superb blend of international standard crime-writing with a strong local ambience that lures you in and delivers a strong and emotionally satisfying read."

I have read an advance review copy of THE FALLEN, and it is very good read. I won't say any more right at the moment, because I have a 600wd review of the book being published in the Weekend Herald (NZ's biggest-circulation newspaper) in the coming weeks, and I don't want to pre-empt that.

August also sees the return of Alix Bosco and her legal researcher heroine Anna Markunas. This time last year Bosco was in Sanders' shoes, being the new kid on the Kiwi crime writing block, with her very good debut thriller CUT & RUN hitting the local bestseller list. Now she's back with SLAUGHTER FALLS:

"When Anna Markunas comes to Brisbane to watch a rugby test, two members of her tour party die sudden, violent deaths. Anna tries to track down the elusive family of one man, but each discovery about his past leads her further into the dark world of Queensland's corrupt underbelly. Soon Anna is running for her life – she has discovered the secrets of those who will stop at nothing to silence her."

In addition, August will also see the welcome return of award-winning Kiwi crime writer Paul Thomas, whose Detective Ihaka trilogy is being re-released as a fantastic value one-book set.

There should also be another Kiwi crime novel, and another Kiwi crime writing debutant, on the horizon, with Donna Malane's NZSA Pindar Publishing Prize winning manuscript SURRENDER due to be published in the near future as well. I will share more information about the publication of SURRENDER as it comes to hand.

So, it seems crime fiction in New Zealand is definitely on an upward curve.

Are you going to get your hands on any of these books? Head along to Setting the Stage for Murder? What is the next Kiwi crime novel you intend to read? Thoughts and comments welcome.

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