After 15 years, New Zealand's leading crime writer, Paul Thomas is back with another Ihaka blockbuster - all three previous books were huge sellers, with Old School Tie winning Australia's prestigious Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. These days Maori cop Tito Ihaka is leading a quieter life in the Wairarapa. Five years earlier he'd sought to step into the shoes of his long-time boss Detective Inspector Finbar McGrail after the latter's promotion to Auckland District Commander. Dogged by the fall-out from his handling of the hit and run death of a prominent businesswoman, Ihaka was overlooked for a younger, more presentable candidate. After a men's room confrontation with his new boss's right-hand man, Ihaka was sent into exile. Out of the blue McGrail summons him back to Auckland. Christopher Lilywhite, the businesswoman's terminally ill husband whom Ihaka suspected was behind his wife's death, wants to see him. Lilywhite confesses that he had his wife murdered, but he dealt with the hit-man at arm's length so has no idea who he is. In quick succession Lilywhite and another potential source of information are murdered.
Ihaka's old rival Detective Inspector Tony Charlton takes control of the case but with more corpses turning up and Auckland Central stretched to breaking point, he agrees to let Ihaka investigate the apparently unrelated murder of a young man about town. As the investigations expand uncovering a blackmail operation preying on married women, gang activities controlled from inside Paremeremo prison and possible police corruption, Ihaka realises that the cases are related and he's hunting a faceless and prolific hit-man. Or is the hit-man hunting him?
Winner of Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel 2013.
Author and columnist Paul Thomas' seven works of fiction include three novels featuring maverick cop Tito Ihaka which were republished by Hodder Moa in 2009 as The Ihaka Trilogy. His work has been widely published internationally and translated into several languages.
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