This afternoon, as part of its regular book reviews slot on Jim Mora's Afternoons programme, Radio New Zealand addressed award-winning New Zealand thriller novel SURRENDER, written by Wellington-based TV screenwriter and producer Donna Malane.
The reviewer was someone who knows more than a fair bit about crime fiction - Kiwi crime writer and Ngaio Marsh Award finalist Vanda Symon, the creator of the excellent Sam Shephard series set in the southern part of the South Island. Symon regularly reviews a variety of books for Mora's Afternoons programme (eg listen to Symon's recent reviews of Val McDermid's TRICK OF THE DARK and Peter Robinson's BAD BOY here).
Despite SURRENDER being "her competition" (as Mora jokes), Symon gives a very positive review of Malane's debut adult thriller - "a cracker" - particularly praising the main character Diane Rowe. "I loved this character," says Symon. "She's tough, funny... and most importantly for crime fiction not afraid of going the extra mile and getting herself into serious trouble, which she does plenty of." You can listen to Symon's full review of SURRENDER here.
For those that are interested, the second book Symon reviewed today wasn't crime fiction, but was also very intriguing (and is staring at me now from my bookshelf), STORYTELLER, the biography of that wonderful writer, Roald Dahl.
You can read my Weekend Herald review of SURRENDER here, and Mira Bradshaw's review of the novel on TVNZ.co.nz here. The book has been getting plenty of praise from those that have read it thusfar, so it will be interesting to see whether it'll be in the mix for the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel.
Have you read SURRENDER? If so, what do you think? If not, does it sound like a book you'd like to try? What did you think of Vanda Symon's review? Are you a Roald Dahl fan? Thoughts and comments welcome.