Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bitter Lemon Press to publish Paul Thomas in UK and North America

A couple of months ago when I was backstage with Paul Thomas before our session at the Going West Festival's Books and Writers Weekend, he shared the great news that highly regarded specialist publisher Bitter Lemon Press had picked up his recent 'return of Ihaka' thriller DEATH ON DEMAND for northern hemisphere publication. I'm pleased to now share the official news, with Bitter Lemon Press including Thomas's terrific thriller in its Spring 2013 catalogue (hat tip to Mike Ripley).

One of the biggest frustrations I have is that many of the great New Zealand crime and thriller titles that come out here each year aren't more widely available overseas - particularly in the English-speaking countries 'up north' (for some reason, the continental Europeans are once again ahead of their UK brethren in this regard). I've sent many diverse crime novels from a variety of Kiwi authors overseas to fellow reviewers, friends, prize winners, and Ngaio Marsh Award judges - and overwhelmingly the response has been incredibly positive, with the biggest complaint being "why can't we get this great book where I live?". So it's terrific that readers in the UK, the US, and Canada will now be able to more easily get their hands on DEATH ON DEMAND, which is a great, enjoyable read, next year.

DEATH ON DEMAND is scheduled for publication in the UK in April 2013, and in the US and Canada in October 2013. The book, which was this week included in the New Zealand Listener's prestigious 100 Best Books list for 2012, sees the return of Detective Tito Ihaka after a 15-year absence. Here is an extract from my review for NZLawyer magazine of DEATH ON DEMAND (click here for full review):

Death on Demand is a very enjoyable read, mixing helter-skelter action and storylines with witty dialogue and fascinating characters. Thomas creates a delightful hyper-reality that is still believable, and puts the memorable and intriguing Ihaka – “unkempt, overweight, intemperate, unruly, unorthodox and profane” – front and centre far more than in the earlier trilogy. Older, and perhaps a shade wiser, Ihaka still gives readers that feeling of a time bomb waiting to detonate. That anything could happen. Thomas dances us along a tightrope of intrigue, and it’s a heck of a fun ride.
I was going to link to a large feature article I wrote for the New Zealand Listener about Paul Thomas earlier this year, where you could read lots of interesting things he had to say about the return of Ihaka, but unfortunately the Listener has just yesterday instituted a paywall on the online versions of its print content - even historic articles that are months and years old. This is a move from their previous model of putting the articles online free for all to read a few weeks after print publication.

I will have more to say about this shortly - just collecting my thoughts.

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