Monday, February 14, 2011

F is for FRIENDLY FIRE by Michael Wall

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 'F'. Fantastic, fun times.

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.

So this week I'm featuring FRIENDLY FIRE, a fast-paced thriller by Kiwi author Michael Wall, who wrote several thrillers, getting some pretty good reviews, back in the mid-late 1990s and early 2000s. Wall is a former Chief Press Secretary for the New Zealand Government. He also worked in the Office of the Prime Minister, for Jim Bolger (New Zealand Prime Minister from 1990-1997). He had previously been offered a job by David Lange (New Zealand Prime Minister 1984--1989), but turned him down.

Wall later moved to Te Ore Ore in the Wairarapa where he wrote, and bred sports horses. He was also Deputy Chair of the Tourism Board. He has written a series of thriller novels, including Museum Street, Friendly Fire, The Cassino Legacy, The Temptations of Frederick Weld, and Cardinal Sins. He has also written other books, including the non-fiction book Wairarapa: A Place Apart. Although his books are no longer in print, they can be found online from secondhand dealers and auction websites.

FRIENDLY FIRE was his second political thriller - a type of book that although very popular overseas hasn't seen many exponents in New Zealand. For a time he was also rumoured to be the author of SPIN, a highly-politicised thriller written by 'Anonymous', although Wall denied this and had his own suspicions of who else within the inner circle may have written that book.

Here's the blurb for FRIENDLY FIRE:

"Journalist Erin Florian returns home from Europe seeking silence and solitude, only to be sucked into a whirlwind of passion, political intrigue and sudden death on the windy streets. FRIENDLY FIRE is an incandescent novel.

In this stylish, fast-paced thriller the author of the best-selling MUSEUM STREET writes of teh dangerous world of MMP politics... fills his capital with a cast that is evil, brutal, ruthless, funny and lethal... and gives us a 'behind the bullet-proof doors' insight into the shadowy world of New Zealand's secret services and the sinister power they wield over our political mistresses and masters."

Sounds intriguing, that's for sure (especially being a Kiwi, to read a political thriller set in our otherwise-rather-benign democracy). I've got my hands on a copy of FRIENDLY FIRE, and am looking forward to reading it.

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 political thrillers? Have you read any of Michael Wall's novels? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - I'm thoroughly enjoying both taking part in the alphabet meme and learning about Kiwi authors as you focus on them for your contributions. Thanks for the extra work you're doing to share Kiwi crime writers with those of us who might not otherwise get to "meet" them.

  2. I'm having a good time with the Crime Alphabet...and learning about all sorts of new authors and books--including your Kiwi authors. I'm not at all familiar with New Zealand work. I'm afraid I'm not much for thrillers of any sort...I'm a Golden Age and cozy kind of girl. But the Michael Wall book does sound interesting.

  3. I can see I'll have to find a book store that stocks Kiwi crime fiction!