Sunday, March 6, 2011


Apologies for the delayed Crime Fiction Alphabet post this week - it's continued to be a crazy busy time here. FYI, while the news cameras around the world may have turned away, and viewers have got a little earthquake-fatigued, the recovery continues in Christchurch. So click here for ways you can help with earthquake relief, no matter where in the world you may be.

But the Crime Fiction Alphabet rolls on, and our intrepid book bloggers out there around the blogosphere (and the globe) have this week been tapping away at their keyboards in creation of great, gripping posts related to the letter 'H'.

For my second go around at the Crime Fiction Alphabet (read my 2010 posts here), I've set myself the 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 HUNTING BLIND by Paddy Richardson, which was a #1 New Zealand bestseller last year, and was selected as one of the NZ Listener's 100 Best Books. Here is my review I wrote for WildTomato magazine (which has previously not been published online):

Dunedin novelist and short story writer Paddy Richardson recently released her latest psychological thriller, Hunting Blind; a tale centring on the all-too-realistic situation of a young girl disappearing, leaving a family and community devastated.

It starts at a summertime school picnic by a picturesque lake; the last time little Gemma Anderson is ever seen. Seventeen years later, older sister Stephanie is working as a trainee psychiatrist, helping heal holes in others’ lives, while never having truly addressed her own. When a new patient shares a story that seems strikingly familiar, Stephanie is spurred to revisit her past, embarking on a journey that takes her from the West Coast to Kaikoura, and eventually back to her long-abandoned childhood home of Wanaka. All in a quest to find out what really happened all those years ago.

Having been a touch underwhelmed by Richardson’s earlier thriller, A Year to Learn a Woman, I opened her latest book with some trepidation. What I found was an accomplished and compelling novel from a writer that has clearly stepped up, honed her style, and found her ‘voice’. She evokes a nice sense of South Island small towns, and takes readers into the aftermath of high-profile tragedies; the ongoing effects after the media circus leaves, and the rest of the country forgets. The plot lags a little in the second quarter (several chapters of psychiatry sessions) before kicking into high gear, but overall Hunting Blind is an enjoyable page-turner - a very good weekend read.

Have you read HUNTING BLIND? If so, what did you think? Are you following the Crime Fiction Alphabet? Thoughts and comments welcome.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this contribution to the CFA for the letter H Craig. Yet another NZ author I am not familiar with.