‘Booted concussively.’

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Maori cop Tito Ihaka has been put out to pasture for five years and is living a rural life out in the New Zealand sticks when a message arrives from his old boss saying he needs Ihaka’s help. Back to Auckland he goes, where he discovers that the case he got fired over has been reopened with the [sort of] killer’s confession. Ihaka was right and everyone in the department was wrong although no one is going to admit it out loud, but the real question is who actually drove the car in the hit-and-run, and, O.o, has the killer been branching out? Then there is that unfortunate incident of the attempted cop killing and the subsequent coverup, but of course now that Ihaka’s on the case that won’t hold for long.

There are a lot of characters but all are people drawn in full, the NZ place names positively sing, and there is some fun writing, as in

[Parks] lunged for [the shotgun], belly-flopping down on the table, which crumpled under his 140 kilos. As he wallowed among the wreckage, Ihaka took a couple of long strides and booted him concussively behind the ear.

‘Booted concussively.’ I bet even Stephen King would like that use of an adverb.

The ending is a little rushed, the killer’s confession a little too easily come by, and I hope Ihaka watches his back with that blonde bombshell he winds up with, but these are minor quibbles. Off to get the rest of the series now…

 

More of my Goodreads reviews here.

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