It's that time of the week again, as the Crime Fiction Alphabet rolls on and our intrepid book bloggers out there around the blogosphere (and the globe) now find themselves frantically tapping away at their keyboards in creation of fantastic posts related to the letter 'E'. Exciting times. Exhilarating, even.
For my second go around at the Crime Fiction Alphabet (read my 2010 posts here), I've set myself the very challenging task of focusing not only just on New Zealand-themed posts, but just on Kiwi crime fiction books (ie I won't do any author profiles etc this time around) - although sometimes it may be the author's name that is relevant to the letter of the week.
This week, for the letter 'E', I thought I would feature an Eco-thriller written by environmentalist C. George Muller, entitled ECHOES IN THE BLUE. Here's the backcover blurb for this locally-written and very topical (given Japan's annual whale hunt - oops, I mean 'scientific data gathering' and Australia and New Zealand's moves to take Japan to the international court):
"Ignoring a 20-year moratorium on commercial whaling, Japan sends its whaling fleet deep into the Antarctic to kill whales under the guise of 'scientific research'. Thrust into this volatile situation is Richard Major, an unlikely hero accompanying a whale research expedition. On the High Seas he must confront a terrifying adversary -- a ruthless fishing industrialist who would wipe out entire species to satisfy an insatiable lust for money and power.
From the windswept Southern Ocean to the opulence of corporate Japan, the battle has many fronts. Mirroring a real-life tragedy looming in our own lifetime, this is a haunting exploration of mankind's continual conflict with nature, and the heroism of those who would risk everything to defend a future threatened forever."
It certainly sounds like an intriguing premise for a thriller, and given recent events, quite a 'newsy' one too. ECHOES IN THE BLUE hasn't been widely published (it's from a small publisher), but there are still copies available brand new from online bookstores like Amazon.com, Fishpond, Wheeler's Books, and Trade Me, amongst others.
ECHOES IN THE BLUE was also a finalist (Silver Medal) in the 2007 Nautilus Book Awards, and was criticised as "terrorism" by the Japan Institute of Cetacean Research, the organisation responsible for Japan's whaling programme.
Muller reportedly wrote ECHOES IN THE BLUE to raise awareness and speak out against what he calls, “The illegal slaughter happening just out of sight over the horizon.” His campaign includes a donation to 'Save the Whales' causes for every book sold. He has also set up his website to highlight the issue of illegal whaling and publicise the fight against it.
ECHOES IN THE BLUE received high praise from a Scientific Advisor to New Zealand’s IWC Commissioner, who described it as, “Very well researched including some extremely insightful observations about the nature of international politicking in the ongoing fight to protect whales.”
Are you taking part in the Crime Fiction Alphabet series? What do you think of my 'Kiwi crime only' challenge-within-a-challenge? Do you like environmental thrillers? Can crime fiction play a part in highlighting issues that may be overlooked by the general populace - whether it be domestic violence, child abuse, or whaling? Comments welcome.