Monday, August 21, 2017

Upcoming new #yeahnoir: THE ONLY SECRET LEFT TO KEEP


Detective Ngaire Blakes is back on the case when a skeletonized murder victim is discovered thirty-six years after his death. While a fierce and glorious fire lights up the Port Hills of Christchurch, Ngaire fights to piece together a crime that took place during the Springbok Tours of 1981. A period that pitted father against son, town against city, and showed the police using batons to beat back protesters on the evening news, night after night.

When the victim is identified as Sam Andie, a young African American man transplanted from the States to NZ by his family, Ngaire must investigate whether racial motives were behind the death. In line with evidence from the forensic pathologist, a police baton could easily have been the murder weapon. Or was his death connected to Sam's girlfriend—a young woman convicted of a savage double homicide in the same week that Sam disappeared?

With files missing, memories hazy, and a strident false confession muddying the waters, Ngaire must sift through the detritus if she hopes to find the truth hiding deep beneath the lies.

The Only Secret Left to Keep is the third book in a series of mystery novels set in the darkest shadows of New Zealand. If you enjoy puzzling mysteries, strong female leads, and the thrill of psychological suspense, then you'll enjoy the latest story in the Ngaire Blakes trilogy.

Release date: 25 September 2017 (you can preorder on Kindle here)

Pre-release thoughts: I'm quite looking forward to this one, as I found Ngaire Blakes to be quite a fascinating heroine in The Second Stage of Grief, the second in the series. The first in the series, The Three Deaths of Magdalene Lynton, was also longlisted for the 2017 Ngaio Marsh Awards.

I'm particularly intrigued by the weaving in of past and present, including the infamous 1981 Springbok Tour to New Zealand. This is a multi-layered, emotive part of New Zealand's modern history, and a setting that I think still lies not untouched, but only lightly plowed, by Kiwi authors.

I really enjoyed Paddy Richardson's Traces of Red, which mixed crime with the Springbok Tour, so I'm hopeful that Hayton's upcoming mystery will be an engaging and fascinating tale too.

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