Saturday, January 31, 2015
New Kiwi crime: SASSAFRAS
It seems more and more budding New Zealand authors are stretching their fiction-writing muscles in the crime and thriller genre, perhaps spurred on by what some academics and others have called a new 'golden age' of Kiwi crime writing.
It is great to see.
So here's a quick first look at a new New Zealand thriller, which has a fascinatingly realistic setting, given the history of drug trafficking in Asia and into Australia and New Zealand, such as the infamous 'Mr Asia' drug cartel of the 1970s (as recently dramatised in the Underbelly TV series).
SASSAFRAS by Richard Gooch
The blurb: Two thousand litres of sassafras oil is enough ingredient to manufacture 2.5 million tablets of pure MDMA aka Ecstasy with a street value of over 30 Million Euros. Sassafras oil is difficult to make, harder to find and almost impossible to smuggle. Garry Carter is 39 and starving for adventure and a sense of meaning in his life. He decides to put everything on the line – including his life – to deliver this huge shipment from where it is produced high up in the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia to the port town of Mawlamyine in Myanmar.
Garrys’ Cambodian partners, Fa and Dang, are river traders. Between them, the father-and-son team have 70 years of experience navigating the spectacular river routes of South-East Asia – and dealing with the corrupt officials and soldiers along the way. Garry’s Dutch partners are drug manufacturers who have the skill and experience to navigate the European drug trade. The Cambodians and Dutch are ruthless. Garry, a New Zealander, isn’t. He’s just looking for a good time, then he unexpectedly falls for the beautiful Noy. The stakes are high: his money or his life.
The author: 42-year-old New Zealander Richard Gooch has spent decades travelling and working his way around the world. He now lives back in New Zealand, working as an importer. Travelling and writing are his passions, and Sassafras was written on location in Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia.
You can find SASSAFRAS on Amazon here, and Goodreads here.