Sunday, September 4, 2016


A retired quantity surveyor from Palmerston North, a small city in the central North Island of New Zealand, has become one of the latest additions to the growing Kiwi Noir canon, publishing his first thriller, A MOMENT'S SILENCE, recently.

Christopher Abbey has been working on the novel on and off for a few years, having to shelve it for a while due to work commitments. More recently he's gone through a manuscript assessment and revision process via the New Zealand Society of Authors, leading to the publication of his taut debut thriller.

Here's the blurb:

Set against a backdrop of actual events in 1995, Martyn Percival, a middle-aged New Zealander, seeks adventure on his first OE to the United Kingdom. A chance sighting, providing a possible link between an explosion and the whereabouts of a renegade IRA operative, has him reporting his suspicions to an attractive police sergeant in the Cotswolds. Scotland Yard becomes involved when the bomber is identified as a serial killer who has embarked on a mission seeking revenge on the tourist who shopped him . Martyn's burgeoning feelings for the sergeant have him agreeing to participate in a planned trap for his nemesis. When this backfires, Martyn returns to New Zealand. Followed by his stalker.Faced with fear for his own survival, Martyn has no alternative but to turn the tables and stalk the stalker. Thus setting up a face-to-face finale in New Zealand's North Island wintry landscape.

I'm looking forward to reading this one. It's published by Mary Egan Publishing, who published two of our eight Ngaio finalists this year. I understand that Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel winner Ray Berard also went through a similar manuscript assessment an rewriting process via the NZSA, so that's a good pedigree.

In a recent newspaper book review, A MOMENT'S SILENCE was praised as:
"uncompromising in its description of human weaknesses yet is equally sensitive to the need for love, courage and dependability as it focuses on the characters and the landscape... This crime novel is gritty, well-crafted, and stresses that no matter what happens, however minor, it has an influence on the rest of our lives. 

You can read the full review here.

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