Monday, August 8, 2011

Exploring the mysteries within: John Hart feature

Last month my latest feature article for the New Zealand Listener was published - a two and a half page article on Edgar and Dagger Award-winning crime writer John Hart, who will be visiting New Zealand in two weeks in support of his fourth literary and layered thriller, IRON HOUSE.

The Listener puts the full versions of its articles online about 2-3 weeks after the print issue, and you can now read my full article, "Exploring the mysteries within" at the Listener's website. Click here, or on the image above.

Hart will be appearing at Hagley Park in Christchurch on Sunday 21 August as part of the "Setting the Stage for Murder" event where the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel will be presented, and at Takapuna Library in Auckland on Tuesday 23 August for a solo event (see further details below).

I really enjoyed talking to Hart, who is one of my favourite 'new to me' author 'finds' of past few years (I first read THE LAST CHILD in 2009 - it was my personal top-ranked crime novel of that year, so I was glad to see it win the Edgar and the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger - a rare double - and I also really enjoyed DOWN RIVER, his other Edgar winner, and IRON HOUSE). Over the course of a very relaxing and good-humoured hour, we discussed everything from the literary merit of crime fiction, to the importance of compelling characters and treating a setting honestly (it's good and bad aspects), to getting gripping drama from 'small-scale' personal stories rather than world-coming-to-an-end plotlines, to the fact we'd both left the law to do something else, something better (hopefully) with our lives. Hart was a really humble, down-to-earth guy, and I'm looking forward to meeting him in person when he visits New Zealand this month.

John Hart will be making two public appearances - I hope to see plenty of NZ-based readers at what should be two great events:

Sunday 21 August – CHRISTCHURCH

Setting the Stage for Murder with author Tess Gerritsen and chaired by Graham Beattie
Location: Crystal Palace, Hagley Park
Time: 11am – 12 noon
Tickets: go to
to order tickets.

Tuesday 23 August – AUCKLAND
An evening with John Hart
Location: Takapuna Library, The Strand, Takapuna
Time: 6.00pm for a 6.30pm start.
Tickets: Entry: $5 ($2 Friends of the Library)
RSVP to 486-8469 or

Have you read IRON HOUSE, or do you intend to? Are you a fan of John Hart's literary thrillers? Will you be heading along to the Auckland or Christchurch events? Thoughts and comments welcome.

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