Bookshelf spotlight: Better The Blood

The Ockham Award finalists have been announced. Lo, two of the four fiction finalists are on my bookshelf and one I had been contemplating buying for about two months now, and already decided I was going to buy it and add it into the voting pile next month for book club.

I first discovered Better the Blood by Michael Bennett when I was doing one of my regular visits to Kete Books last year to see if there were any interesting new books by kiwi authors coming out. This one sounded great and I immediately contacted McLeods to order a copy for me.

Better the Blood by Michael Bennett

Of course, like too many books I buy, it has been sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. Being listed as a finalist though has reminded me that I wanted to read it. And it may just end up bumping a book off my March TBR. For now, the book blurb is all I can offer.

The past never truly stays buried.

Hana Westermann is Māori detective juggling single motherhood and the pressures of her career in Auckland’s Central Investigation Branch. When she’s led to a crime scene by a mysterious video, she discovers a man hanging in a secret room. As Hana and her team work to track down the perpetrator, other deaths lead her to think that they are search for New Zealand’s first serial killer.

With little to go on, Hana must use all her experience as a police officer to find a motive for these apparently unrelated murders. What she eventually discovers is a link to a historic crime that leads back to the brutal and bloody colonisation of New Zealand.

As a Māori officer, there has always been a clash between duty and culture for Hana, but it is something that she’s found a way to live with. Until now. When the pursuit becomes frighteningly personal, Hana realises that her heritage and past are the keys to finding the killer.

But as the murders continue, it seems that the killer’s agenda of revenge may include Hana – and her family.

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