Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Upcoming Kiwi crime: THE FALLEN by Ben Sanders

As I noted a few weeks ago, along with new books by established Kiwi crime writers such as Paddy Richardson, Paul Cleave, Neil Cross, Vanda Symon, and Alix Bosco, there are also some debutant Kiwi crime writers on the horizon whose first books will be launched later this year, further strengthening our crime writing ranks - one of whom is Ben Sanders, a young Aucklander in his very early 20s who is getting a fair bit of buzz already.

I've already received and read an advance copy of Sanders' debut crime thriller, THE FALLEN, which will be released in August. It is very good (I will publish a review once the book is released, as well as some more information and perhaps an interview with Sanders).

His publisher, HarperCollins, have now issued a press release about Sanders and THE FALLEN, which I have included for your information here:

The Fallen by Ben Sanders
Press Release: HarperCollins

Watch out Lee Child, there’s a young new crime novelist in town . . .

Twenty-year-old Ben Sanders’ fascination with crime fiction has paid off. He has just signed a two-book contract with HarperCollins Publishers New Zealand.

Born and bred on Auckland’s North Shore, Sanders has been hooked on Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Cormac McCarthy and Pete Dexter since the age of thirteen, and now he’s put his interest in these big-selling authors to work.

A keen writer since his teens, Sanders is also passionate about music; he wrote his first novel while listening to the tunes of R.E.M, Nick Cave, Grant-Lee Phillips, and The Mutton Birds and even found time to study engineering at the University of Auckland.

Sanders’ debut novel, The Fallen, will be published at the beginning of August. The story begins with an inquiry into the murder of a 16-year-old girl found in Albert Park and moves quickly into the seedy world of police scams, an ‘underbelly’ kidnapping and unexpected violence.

‘Set in unnervingly familiar surroundings, The Fallen is a superb blend of international-standard crime writing, with a strong local ambience that is an absorbing murder mystery,’ says HarperCollins Commissioning Editor, Tracey Wogan. ‘Ben Sanders’ sophisticated and edgy writing style signals the emergence of a major new talent. We’re thrilled to have secured his first two novels.’

‘The inspiration for the book was not so much about wanting to create a story as about wanting to create a character,’ says Sanders. ‘For me, ninety per cent of the appeal of crime fiction is in the quality of the protagonists.’

Sanders’ second novel is due to be published later next year.

Jack Reacher should watch his back!


So, how does that sound? I think it's great that publishers here seem more open to New Zealand crime writing, and are looking to sign up new authors, as well as establishing some series authors like Symon and Cleave, etc. THE FALLEN is a very good book, I enjoyed it, and will be eagerly awaiting Sanders' second title in the Sean Devereaux series. I can't share much more about it until August, sorry. But you can read a bit of a plot synopsis on the publisher's website here.


  1. Of course the problem with tying a new author in to an established one is that for those who don't like the established one it is a turn off. I've only read one Lee Child book but it bored me witless and I've no interest in reading any more or anything remotely like it. Fortunately for Mr Sanders there are probably lots more people who do like Lee Child's books than don't but I still think it's a bit of a risky strategy to make so much of a comparison.

  2. I agree Bernadette. I understanding the marketing reasons, but in all honesty, I wouldn't describe Sanders' book as Lee Child-like anyway ... it reminds me more of Michael Connelly, in a well evoked New Zealand setting.

  3. I think this is fantastic and look forward to Sander's book. I'd not read any Lee Child books until his latest and loved it! I've read a few Connelly novels and enjoyed every one, so I think I'm going to embrace The Fallen. Thanks for your review.

  4. Michael Connelly is in my top group of favourite writers, and you can see that this young author is indeed well influenced by him.
    As good as Lee Child? Not yet, not by a long, long shot.
    Maybe in ten, 15 years??