After a fantastic four weeks of travel and 'holiday' (vacation for those of you in North America), I'm now back in the saddle in Auckland - so expect to see far more regular Crime Watch posting moving forward in 2011. In the first week and a bit of 2011 I've read five crime novels - THE LAST CAR TO ELYSIAN FIELDS by James Lee Burke, IN PLAIN SIGHT by CJ Box, THE EXECUTIONER by Jay Bennett, PROMISED LAND by Davide Hewson and THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN by James Lee Burke - the latter just finished on the plane from Nelson to Auckland this morning.
After five US-set novels, I thought it was time to read my first Kiwi crime novel of 2011. So for my sixth crime novel of 2011 (there is no way this pace keeps up all year) and first New Zealand-set/written one, I've started reading A POLITICAL AFFAIR by debutant Dunedin crime writer Andrew Porteous. You may recall from last year that Porteous won an international unpublished crime writing competition with the manuscript for this novel.
Here is the back cover blurb for A POLITICAL AFFAIR: "Lachlan Doyle is the product of a Scottish doctor and a Maori mother. Orphaned while still young, Lachlan has one great ambition, to be a detective with the New Zealand CIB.
He achieves that ambition and is posted to Dunedin. This is hardly likely to win the young detective notice and national attention. But when a woman is found dead in her own home, apparently having fallen down the stairs and broken her neck, Lachlan decides to dig beneath the surface. Soon he is convinced he has on his hands a case of murder. And no ordinary case, for he is being urged by colleagues and superiors to keep the case under wraps.
Lachlan refuses to be deterred. Soon he finds himself in very deep water, with his own life at stake, for the death of one woman leads right to the top, to the office of the Prime Minister himself. This is, in every sense, a political affair."
You can read more about Porteous and his debut novel in articles in the Otago Daily Times here,, and the Wanganui Chronicle here. Those in New Zealand can buy A POLITICAL AFFAIR (with free delivery) from here. For those overseas, you can buy A POLITICAL AFFAIR from Amazon.co.uk here.