Sunday, January 26, 2014

Remember this name: Ben Atkins

One of the great things about being a crime fiction reviewer is getting sent books from new-to-you authors to read. This can include upcoming books by debut authors. There is a lot of good and great crime fiction out there, and one of my favourite things is 'discovering' a great new author. Especially one with a distinctive voice or outlook.

Recently I was sent an advanced manuscript for DROWNING CITY, the debut novel from an Auckland University student, Ben Atkins. The book has an intriguing back-cover blurb - it's a noir novel set over one night in the prohibition era:
In a city of elusive agendas, it's hard to find the truth. It's even harder to find what's right. A bootlegger's dream is rocked by an attempt to destroy his lucrative business. What begins as a curious evening snowballs into a night-time odyssey as Fontana searches for answers he never thought he'd have to find. The city is saturated with criminal and political extremism - is there anyone he can trust?
Setting and style are just as much characters in this evocative, Depression-era novel by an astonishingly talented young author. 
As always with a new author, I opened the book curious as to what I'd find. Hopefully something good. I didn't. I found something great. Atkins has an astonishingly evocative and distinctive authorial voice. I really, really enjoyed this book, much more than I thought I might. Keep an eye on him. And grab a copy. 


  1. Any idea when this will be published?

  2. It will be published in New Zealand on 7 March 2014.