Surrender to the pleasure of a top Kiwi read
BOOK REVIEW: by Donna Malane
It’s clear that author Donna Malane’s writing experience is paying dividends.
From the word go, Surrender is a compelling and gritty tale of crime and mystery.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and as much as it’s a cliche, the book was hard to put down.
The book follows missing persons expert Diane Rowe as she tries to unravel the story of who killed her sister Niki, and why.
Then the man she has pegged for the murder turns up dead too.
Who killed her killer?
The level of detail is impressive – right down to things like which section of the Crimes Act 1961 one of the criminals has been charged with.
The plot jumps from one saga to the next.
There’s always something to keep you turning the page.
But I do feel some of the character names are a bit silly – one of the main characters is a criminal called Snow.
He has twin sisters – Peaches and Cream.
Perhaps in the world of criminals one gets by on a nickname.
sisters, they sound a stripper names.
It’s still refreshing to read and the gripping crime novel is set in Wellington.
Local references to the Rimutaka Ranges and Wainui Hill bring the story to life.
tal- ented at bringing a scene to life through detail.
For example, in chapter six she describes the waiting area of the Wainuiomata police station.
It reads: ‘‘. . . four enormous Maori guys balanced on the tiny wooden chairs provided. They were all reading Woman’s Weeklys, their legs stretched out in identical postures of relaxation. Seven entirely different coloured socks were on display. One naked foot sat proud in this company. None of the men looked up when I entered.’’
As clever as the book was, I did get confused in parts.
I don’t know if this is because there were too many characters introduced, whether there were too many twists and turns or whether I simply didn’t understand everything at first glance.
Regardless, this book worth a read.
So it comes as no surprise to read Surrender won the inaugural 2010 New Zealand Society of AuthorsPindar Publishing Prize.
Talented author: Donna Malane. Inset: The Auckland City Harbour News has a copy of Surrender and My Brother’s Keeper by Donna Malane to giveaway to a lucky winner.