On Saturday, my latest crime writing-focused feature for the Weekend Herald, New Zealand's biggest-circulation newspaper, was published: an article on 21-year-old Auckland crime writer Ben Sanders, whose debut novel THE FALLEN sat atop the local bestseller charts for several weeks last year. THE FALLEN was also long-listed for the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, so it's been a fairly good start to Sanders' crime writing career (to put it mildly).
This week, Sanders' second crime novel, BY ANY MEANS, was released - a tale that sees Detective Sean Devereaux juggling multiple homicide investigations, including a bus driver gunned down at rush on a busy city street, and the wife and daughter of a prominent businessman, found dead in their suburban home. Meanwhile Devereaux's unconventional buddy, ex-cop John Hale, tries to track down the men who kidnapped a girl from outside a nightclub, right in front of him.
I really enjoyed both THE FALLEN and BY ANY MEANS, and I'm looking forward to seeing Devereaux and Hale, and Sanders' writing, develop further over the coming years. He's started young, and very well, so the sky could be the limit for this engineering student and part-time crime writer.
In our interview we discussed his transition from reading crime to writing crime, choosing to see crime fiction in New Zealand, evoking Auckland, creating his characters, and how he got started so young, amongst other things. You can read now read the full article online at the Herald website, HERE.
Have you read THE FALLEN? Will you read BY ANY MEANS? What do you think of Sanders' crime writing? Is Auckland a good place to set crime fiction? Comments welcome.