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Justice and utu by David Hair

Justice and utu

by David Hair

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Book 4 in David Hair's Aotearoa series. Donna Kyle, arch enemy of Matiu Douglas, has been captured and put on trial in pre 1840′s New Zealand and Tama, Matiu’s father, has been instructed to defend her by Governor George Grey. When she escapes, Matiu is forced into an uneasy alliance with her as she hunts the greater threat; her father Asher Grieve. Along with friend Damien, and young seer, Everalda, Matiu travels to Aotearoa, the ghost version of New Zealand as part of the chase. Everalda is no friend of Donna's either; in fact Donna was the one who blinded her in her left eye when she was just a child.

The action includes the theft of the original Tiriti (Treaty of Waitangi) and encounters with historical figures; Hone Heke, Bully Hayes, Captain Hobson, Bishop Pompalier and Judge JS Williams who later sent the only woman sentenced to death in New Zealand, Minnie Deans, to the gallows. Also involved is the half girl, half taniwha, Tania. During the book, Matiu finds he has growing feelings for Everalda, but will this continue once her true parentage is uncovered?

As in the three previous novels, the blend of New Zealand mythology and history with tikanga contemporary fiction, is skillfully done to create a rollocking adventure story that straddles two worlds. The ending leaves the way wide open for the next novel, which I look forward to. I was, however, mystified by this sentence: 'handing over a fifty for assurances that her dead husband was happy. (Evie didn't know why, but she had a feeling that ten-year-old Jack was fine, somewhere.)' (p. 95). Aged 10 and a husband - maybe I missed something! ( )
  DebbieMcCauley | Sep 11, 2012 |
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"Matiu Douglas is used to his father Tama's job as a defense lawyer creating stress, but when Tama takes on a case in magical Aotearoa, family tensions run high. But that is only the beginning of Mat's worries. A jail-break becomes a man-hunt, and strange new alliances must be forged if justice is to be served"--Publisher's information. Suggested level: secondary.… (more)

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