A pretty terrific line-up for the longlist there; eight very good crime/thriller novels. I know the seven-member international judging panel is going to be having all sorts of fun trying to work out which books should be finalists and which book should win the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award, to be presented on 21 August in Christchurch. The finalists will be revealed in early August.
The decision was tough last year between three great finalists, but this year I think there is even more depth on the longlist, and the decision may be even tougher. The eight longlisted titles include a diverse range of protagonists, settings, and styles - from psychological examinations of minds askew, to pulse-pounding thrillers, to police procedurals, to international spy thrillers. Amateur sleuths, government agents, detectives, family members of victims - all starring in tales covering the length and breadth of New Zealand, as well as parts of Australia, Southeast Asia, and Britain.