Read my review of Into the Void, the author’s first novel.
A young woman has been murdered on Ripton Beach.
DSS ‘Archie’ Baldrick and DC Ben Travers eventually identify the body as that of Lucy Martin, who has been renting a bach in the area. Her husband, Oliver, seems to know very little about his wife or her background.
What was Lucy hiding? Why has she no family or friends?
As the number of suspects mounts up, Archie begins to conclude that the real answer lies in Lucy’s dark and mysterious past, and that the murderer may be just a little too close for comfort …
Christina is a writer and professional proofreader living in the Waikato region of New Zealand. Four of her short stories have been published, one in a magazine and the others in anthologies produced by Page and Blackmore, Rangitawa Publishing and most recently in Fresh Ink: Voices from Aotearoa, produced by Cloud Ink Press.
As well as being a finalist in the 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards, Christina’s first crime novel Into the Void was longlisted for the 2019 Michael Gifkins Memorial Prize for an unpublished novel.
My thoughts: this was a clever and gripping thriller with plenty of red herrings and lots of mystery. Who is Lucy? Why would someone want to kill this former school teacher? There’s little to go on – she seems to have no past and no one really knew her, even her husband.
But slowly the case unrolls, and it spans three continents and thirty odd years. Proof you can never truly outrun your past.
The team of detectives are interesting and Archie is a bit distracted by his personal life to begin with, but is able to set things aside and hunt for the killer. His team might be small but they’re determined and hard working, even when the evidence seems sparse and the motive obscure. They felt quite realistic and Travers has a dry sense of humour, referring to his boss as “Turnip” but never to his face.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.