It was a hometown quinella on Saturday night as Paul Cleave and Ray Berard were announced as the winners of the 2016 Ngaio Marsh Awards at the WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival.
For the last couple of years I've had the enormous privilege of being one of the judges on the New Zealand Crime Fiction Ngaio Marsh Awards, and I'm not joking when I call it a privilege. I've always been a fan of the work of New Zealand's fine band of Crime Fiction writers, but in the last couple of years, there's something going on over there that demands close attention. There's a sense of risk taking, of boundary pushing that's now palpable, along with an increasing pride in place and culture that's just wonderful.
The Australian Crime Writers Association today announced the shortlists for the 2016 Ned Kelly Awards for the best in Australian crime writing.
I think it's fair to say that we both loved this book, but came away from it with very different view points.
A record number of entrants and a kaleidoscopic range of crime tales illustrates the growth of New Zealand crime writing but provided a real challenge for the judges of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel, who have revealed the longlist for their 2016 award today.
Being a solo farmer for a week normally I dodge anything too "confrontational" in my reading matter - a) because it's usually impossible to get time to devote to something that's going to require concentration, and b) there's no point in scaring yourself witless if you don't have to (things have a tendency to go bump in the night around here). But this was a most unexpected experience, it was absolutely riveting, confrontational, difficult reading, but illuminating, moving.
So having had my socks blown off by one New Zealand / Ngaio Marsh contender, the next book in the queue was intriguing, another most unusual slow burner of a read with all sorts of potential to go in all sorts of directions. That, needless to say, was the end of all but essential chores for the rest of the weekend.
From the Blurb: