Monday, May 2, 2011


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.

This week I’m featuring another out-of-print Kiwi crime novel, PRESCRIPTION FOR DANGER by Selwyn Carson. Arrow (part of Random House) published two novels from Christchurch doctor Carson in the mid 1990s, each starring New Zealand GP (general practitioner) Sam Wood, who gets caught up in criminal activities and investigations. PRESCRIPTION FOR DANGER (1995) was Carson’s debut. Here’s the back cover blurb:

“... They were watching him. In the uniform of black sweat-shirts, black leather trousers, heavy combat boots and studded belts. The logos on the jackets were familiar: a large letter ‘R’ mounted on a skull. The Rejects.

... They began to close in...

Hard-working GP, family man, ex-rugby player Sam Woods is living an unexceptional life in that peaceful, conservative and most English of New Zealand cities, Christchurch. That is, until he stumbles into a dark, dangerous, hidden world of drug trafficking and gang warfare and ends up fighting for his life.

Fast-paced, exciting, full of ingenious twists and turns, Prescription for Danger is just the right medicine if you’re after a thriller that’s impossible to put down.”

It certainly sounds interesting, and I’m looking forward to giving it a read (I found a copy in a secondhand store, and later also got my hands on a copy of Carson’s second Sam Woods tale, also a ‘p’ title: PAYDAY IN SAUDI). I’m curious as to how Carson deals with the issues of drugs and gangs, which of course continue to be a major problem in societies around the world, today, fifteen years on.

Do you like mysteries centred on amateur sleuths like Sam Woods (ie not law enforcement, private eyes, or lawyers)? Do you like digging out old, forgotten, crime fiction tales from secondhand stores or libraries? Comments welcome.


  1. Craig - Oh, that does look interesting! I'll look forward to your review.

  2. Thanks for this Craig. I have added it to this week's CFA