Back in 2010, an unpublished crime thriller manuscript by acclaimed TV screenwriter and producer Malane, SURRENDER, rose above more than 500 entries to win the inaugural NZSA-Pindar Publishing Prize, and was published later that year to very good reviews and good sales for a debut New Zealand novel.
Unfortunately, the book was caught up a little in the collapse of Red Group (owners of Whitcoulls and Borders) who were a sponsor of the prize and stockists of the book. Leaving Malane and the NZSA a little high and dry when it came to broadening its publication, etc.
SURRENDER, which was long-listed for the 2011 Ngaio Marsh Award, introduced Diane Rowe, a missing persons expert used to making sense of other people's lives, while not being so good at her own. The brutal murder of her little sister, Niki, and the break-up of her marriage, have tested her usual tough optimism.
When Niki’s killer turns up dead, Diane sets out to nail the truth. But uncovering Niki’s seedy past reveals truths and dangers she never expected – or wanted – to face.
SURRENDER was Malane's first foray into book-based crime fiction, but she did already have quite a true crime and crime fiction pedigree on the small screen. During her years researching and writing re-enactments for television’s Crimewatch series, Malane had unprecedented access to police files and cases. During that time she formed enduring relationships with police, forensic scientists, lawyers, victims and their families, as well as with the odd criminal. Malane also wrote and/or produced a variety of prime-time TV dramas and documentaries, including police drama series Shark in the Park, international doco-drama series Indelible Evidence, crime drama series Duggan (for which she won Best Drama Script at the New Zealand Film and Television Awards in 2000) and film for television Until Proven Innocent, the story of the wrongful conviction of David Dougherty for the rape and abduction of his 11 year old neighbour. Until Proven Innocent won seven major awards at the 2009 Film and Television Awards, including Best Drama.
I was very pleased to hear this week that HarperCollins have signed up Malane, and will republish SURRENDER in 2012, and publish a new Diane Rowe book in 2013. Great news!
Some reviews of SURRENDER:
- My review in the Weekend Herald
- Mira Bradshaw's review for TVNZ
- Sarah Gumbley's review in NZLawyer
- Margot Kinberg at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist
- Bernadette at Reactions to Reading
- Debbie Cowens at her blog
Have you read SURRENDER? What did you think? Are you looking forward to following the continued exploits of Diane Rowe? What did you think of Rowe as a heroine?