Sunday, April 5, 2015

NZ crime in today's Herald on Sunday

While book reviews have disappeared from some print publications in recent years, there are still some fantastic Books and Arts Editors out there who are fighting the good fight and ensuring that quality books still get some coverage in the mainstream media. Nicky Pellegrino, herself an acclaimed author, is one of those who does a great job covering books via her page in one of New Zealand's major newspapers, the Herald on Sunday.

One of many things I love about Nicky's passion for books is the way she promotes good New Zealand writing and is keen to celebrate good storytelling from a broad range of genres. Literary fiction, a variety of non-fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, children's books, crime and thriller, chick lit, romance, and more - all of it has regularly made an appearance over the years.

I've reviewed for Nicky's page over the years, though it had been a while with all my travels. In today's issue (see picture right) I've reviewed Paul Cleave's FIVE MINUTES ALONE, a superb thriller for those who like their crime fiction dark and twisted. Or anyone who just likes a very good read. Nicky herself reviews Kazuo Ishiguro's THE BURIED GIANT, Anna Jones' A MODERN WAY TO EAT, and a book about the ANZACs, while author Felicity Price reviews Jonathan Odell's MISS HAZEL AND THE ROSA PARKS LEAGUE and award-winning children's author Danielle Wright takes a look at Lonely Planet's kids' activity books.

For you crime lovers, here's what I had to say about Cleave's latest thriller:

Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave (Penguin, 2015)
Our internationally bestselling Crown Prince of Crime Fiction is at it again with another pulsating, violent thriller set in his near-dystopian version of Christchurch. Wonderfully complex protagonist Theo Tate has been resurrected, as a cop and a human being, after recovering from a coma. The death penalty has been reinstated, and now someone is disposing of society’s worst offenders, giving the victims of their crimes a chance for the proverbial ‘five minutes alone’ that so many want. Or think they want. But vigilantism is never as straightforward as it seems, and Tate finds himself hunting someone he can sympathise with, as he juggles his wife’s slipping recovery. Cleave beautifully brings together many threads in a taut and terrific tale full of wounded characters that raises questions about crime, justice, and whether we are more than our worst acts. His prose crackles like a campfire, darkly hypnotic and dangerous. Top notch, highly recommended.

Happy Easter (or Passover) everyone. I hope you have a relaxing weekend with friends and family. And maybe read some good books!

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