Monday, March 8, 2010

NZ and international crime in Latitude magazine

The current (Autumn ) issue of Latitude magazine has included a couple of crime fiction reviews in its books pages: a review of Dunedin-based crime writer Paddy Richardson's #1 bestselling thriller, HUNTING BLIND; and a review of Canadian suspense superstar Linwood Barclay's latest suburban thriller, NEVER LOOK AWAY.

Latitude is the lifestyle magazine of the Canterbury region of New Zealand; a 160-page glossy quarterly packed with great large features on interesting people, places, and issues - as well as travel articles, book reviews, and several other interesting columns. I have started writing for the magazine (and have a book review and one-page profile interview with a former sports star in the Autumn issue). It's a very cool magazine, and I'm glad to be able to write for them.

Joanne Taylor (the editor of Latitude and the main book reviewer) has kindly allowed me to reprint the book reviews on the Crime Watch blog, as Latitude is not available online.

By Paddy Richardson
Reviewed by Joanne Taylor

Paddy Richardson left me wanting more of her books after her first thriller was released in 2008. With the release of HUNTING BLIND this author is establishing herself as an accomplished thriller writer. A young girl goes missing at a school picnic leaving a family to fall apart with grief. Seventeen years later her older sister Stephanie is now a practising psychiatrist whose work with a new patient reveals a very similar story to her own. Rather than let the matter rest, Stephanie embarks on a tense journey to track the person she suspects was responsible for both mysteries. I could not put it down, and enjoyed the familiar South Island scenery.

By Linwood Barclay
Reviewed by Craig Sisterson
Linwood Barclay’s latest novel is an absolutely ripping page-turner. Small-town reporter David Harwood’s rather low-key life is upended when his recently-depressed wife Jan vanishes from a popular theme park. As if that wasn't bad enough, when the police can’t find any evidence of Jan ever being at the park, the finger of suspicion begins to point David’s way. A body in a shallow grave increases the pressure, and David must dig into an unclear past to uncover the truth.

As always, Barclay masterfully crafts a superb tale centred on an ‘ordinary hero’ rather than a spy or super-cop; the chills and thrills are all the more real because he scratches the surface of suburban fears in a tale that even when you think you’ve worked it all out, still manages to surprise. Only start reading this when you’ve got time on your hands, because from a few pages in, you won’t be able to put it down.

What do you think of the reviews (we are very constrained for space)? Are you planning on reading either book? If you already have, what to do you think of it/them? Thoughts and comments welcome.

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