The Empty Coffin, Gary Moore

Reviewed By
Karen Chisholm

The blurb on this debut novel calls THE EMPTY COFFIN a high-octane thriller with cracking dialogue, sly humour and a sense of justice. There's also a hefty dose of real and paranormal combined in an interesting idea, with slightly creepy styling that feels like it comes from the Paul Cleave school of construction. 

Creepy and intriguing are the two words that stay with me when trying to define THE EMPTY COFFIN, although that was buried under an avalanche of general busy plot that seemed to be trying to tackle an awful lot of sub-threads in a very short time. This mean that whilst creepy was definitely the case, taut enough to be mesmerising was missed a bit. Potential here though, and definitely worth a look particularly if you're a bit of a student of where influences take a regional body of work.

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When Dean Bradley is brutally murdered for his new shoes, undertaker Ken Tamati does a lovely job on the corpse — but next morning, the body has vanished from the funeral parlour.

That day, a mysterious figure — witnesses give wildly conflicting descriptions — begins rescuing victims of assault all over Auckland and healing their horrific injuries with a dazzling light. They call him the Rainbow Man.

Who is he? The police and media think the stories of apparent miracles can’t possibly be true. The public thinks this may be the Second Coming.

Meanwhile a brutal serial killer is about to strike again; young Tom Heke is on the run from both the police and a fearsome Maori gang; and Constable Mary Clark puzzles her colleagues by knowing more about the Rainbow Man than she should.

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Karen Chisholm
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