Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sports author turns to Kiwi crime fiction

Paul Thomas with his dog Smudge. Kent Blechynden/Fairfax
While I've been travelling around the past three to four weeks, bouncing from the Christchurch Writers Festival at the end of August on to Australia, California, Arizona, New Mexico Colorado, Utah, London, up to Stirling for the Bloody Scotland Festival last weekend, and now back to London (where I'll be based for a few months), I've been a little less in the loop with what's been going on in the media back home.

So I've only just come across a good feature article by Nikki MacDonald on 2013 Ngaio Marsh Award winner Paul Thomas, published in the Your Weekend supplement of Fairfax's suite of Saturday newspapers recently. It's a nice feature piece on Thomas and his writing, which ranges from sports biographies of famous All Blacks and cricketers through to his acclaimed and award-winning Tito Ihaka series of crime thrillers, which paved the way for contemporary Kiwi crime writing in the mid 1990s.

Thomas's fifth and latest Ihaka thriller, FALLOUT, is available now, and is a great read (I managed to finish it while still downunder), delving into two historic deaths, including a very personal case for the maverick Maori detective. It's great to see Thomas back in the crime writing fold.

You can read the feature, which delves into the creation of Tito Ihaka, Thomas's writing history, his work on sports biographies, and why New Zealand is perhaps now a better setting for crime novels than it was two or three decades ago, here.

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