Called "A brilliant psychological thriller" by revered New Zealand author Dame Fiona Kidman, THE CHILDREN'S POND is set in the central North Island of New Zealand, which pleases me as when I wrote a geographical round-up of New Zealand crime fiction a few years ago, I noted that our North Island small towns seemed to provide as-yet untapped potential for great crime fiction settings. So I'll be curious to see how Shaw evokes Turangi and its surrounds.
Here's the blurb:
Jessica Pollard has moved to Turangi to be near her son Reuben who is in prison there. While working at a trout-fishing lodge on the Tongariro River, Jessica slips into a relationship with a handsome, charming Maori lawyer. When the body of his troubled niece Chantelle is found in the Children's Pond, Jessica's own past as a teenager in prison comes back to haunt her. What really happened to her all those years ago? And what is the connection with Chantelle's death?
A review of THE CHILDREN'S POND on The Women's Bookshop website praises Shaw's acute ear for dialogue, saying that "every character leaps from the page whenever they speak".
Shaw is the author of several novels including The Black Madonna (Penguin NZ), and About Griffen's Heart (Longacre), which was a Storylines Notable Book in 2010. She has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship, the 2001/2 Creative NZ Berlin Writers' Residency, and the 2005 Writer in Residence at the University of Waikato. You can check out her website here.