There's so much crime fiction from so many varied cultures these days that it's hard to pick the new "big thing". The unfortunate thing about the "big thing" is that other areas are often unfairly swamped or forgotten. Working away in some of the less often remarked upon areas, there are some stunningly good authors.
One of the things I wanted when we started AustCrime was to incorporate New Zealand authors - and this, I hasten to add, is not another attempt to "claim" anything from the land of the long white cloud as our own. Rather it's to acknowledge that there are some authors just over the ditch who deserve mention - who I regard as important in my reading world as I do the local crew.
We have included a list of all the New Zealand authors we've managed to locate this far, and we're always on the lookout for more.
There are some within this group that stand astride a number of locations. Paul Thomas, for example, was born in the UK, grew up in NZ and now lives in Australia. But he belongs in the New Zealand and Australian groups not just because of the geographical details but because he has written some tremendous books that touch upon the movements of New Zealanders between their homeland and Australia. Dirty Laundry is one of the best examples of his that I've read so far, but the good thing about Paul's books is that just because you liked one book - don't expect the rest to be in the same vein. He's a very versatile author.
Paul Cleave, on the other hand, is firmly based in Christchurch although he's probably not the greatest thing to happen to local tourism there. But his books are amongst my most favourite reads in recent years. Dark, creepy, downright terrifying in some cases, Paul writes the most fantastic thrillers. Not a series, his books all approach some of the standard scenarios of crime fiction and shred them - right before your eyes. But I still maintain - he wrote one of the only books that has scared me witless in a number of years. Follow the link to Paul's page and then to the books and you'll see some reviews attached as well.
Stella Duffy is another that I've listed - she was born in New Zealand and now lives in London, although the latest book I've noticed from Stella was released in 2005. Hopefully that's me not looking hard enough. In a similar vein Chris Niles was born in New Zealand, now lives in the US - and in particular, her book, Hell's Kitchen is an absolute corker.
Vanda Symon is another current day, born and living in NZ author with two books to her name at the moment - both of which are here and I have just got to get them higher up the reading queue (I think I'm going to die saying that!)
Of course, New Zealand has it's own list of earlier crime fiction authors, and most of us have probably started out reading Ngaio Marsh at the same time that we were working out way through the Agatha Christie collection. There is also Freda Bream who I know was born in around 1918 - but other than that I haven't found out a lot yet.
Just a quick example of some of the authors from New Zealand that you should check out.