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The Jaded Kiwi: a novel by Nick Spill

The Jaded Kiwi: a novel

by Nick Spill

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The summer of 1976 in Auckland, New Zealand. There is a severe marijuana drought.

Two couples; a gynecologist and a physicist, together with a violinist and an actress meet by accident in a pub and help a Maori evade the police.

A group of Maori plans to deliver a truckload of cannabis to Auckland.

A Chinese family has harvested four greenhouses of enhanced sensimilla.

A criminal mastermind plots to start a drug war.

A police Inspector hunts a fugitive Maori.

The war on drugs starts in New Zealand. Chaos ensues.
My take...

A wee while since I read this one and some overdue thoughts….

Great setting…New Zealand in the 70s and a bit of a social history lesson, particularly in police attitudes towards the Maoris – break heads first and worry about asking questions later. I don’t think they were too big on civil rights and liberties back then. (Some notes at the back of the book are helpful in explaining some facets of NZ as it was in the 70s and providing context with details on Maori history, language and culture.)

Plot - a tale of dope growing; two crops, one from the Maoris and one from the Chinese and a white criminal gang lord in the city happy to sacrifice one crop so he can engineer the hijack of the other; always assuming he can concentrate on the task in hand and not get side-tracked by the kidnapping of an old flame. This old flame of his is related to one of our dope growers and a former employee at one of his massage parlours in the city. Opportunity strikes when she rocks back up in the city from the US. (Not just from a business perspective but also regarding pleasures of the flesh!)

Action aplenty - beatings, shootings, a bar fight-cum-riot, petrol bombs, sexual violence, and a bloody stakeout culminating in a more explosive climax. This would probably make a decent film.

A little bit of romance thrown into the mix as well, adding to the plot rather than detracting from it.

Overall – fairly entertaining without being the best book ever.

Fast-paced and violent – as well as interesting and not least a bit educational. I know more about New Zealand now than before I cracked the spine on the book.

4 from 5

Author Nick Spill is an Englishman who spent a couple of decades in New Zealand before relocating to Florida. He was kind enough to send me a copy in return for a review.

His website is here. http://nickspill.com/
Facebook page - here. https://www.facebook.com/jadedkiwi/

Read in May, 2016
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06... ( )
  col2910 | Jun 22, 2016 |
A gynaecologist, a physicist, a violinist and an actress all walk into a pub and help a Maori leader evade the police. With no apologies to anyone for the pun because really, that's part of what THE JADED KIWI is all about. An absolutely madcap plot, peopled with a cast of seeming thousands and a lot of crazy behaviour.

Heaps of pace where it mattered really helps what's not so much a complicated plot, as a complex execution, scamper along. Many of the rapidly expanding character set are wonderfully engaging, if not slightly over the top. Whether it's the gynaecologist paired up with the physicist who find themselves back in his (the physicist's) home territory, or the bear like violinist with a heart of gold and concern for his musician's hands, who has gone to New York and back to rescue his girlfriend with the Asian background. All of whom meet up with the Maori fugitive from the law, and somehow find themselves at the centre of a drug war / organised crime sort of plot with stolen cars, mysterious phone calls, and much sneaking around in the back streets and byways.

It's a very busy story though, and readers will have to concentrate hard to keep up with what seems like an ever expanding cast, to say nothing of some incredibly complicated connections. For this reader, a little pairing down of some of the byways and offshoots may have uncomplicated some elements, allowing the central themes more concentration - and therefore a little more clarity. However, everything is delivered with great verve, almost gusto, papering over any potential logical cracks with sufficient engagement to make you wonder if you actually saw what you thought you might have just seen. The added bonus is a real feeling of affection for New Zealand and it's people.

All of which makes THE JADED KIWI a debut thriller which shows promise, delivered as it is, with a slightly tongue in cheek, very New Zealander sort of sense of humour, style and language.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-jaded-kiwi-nick-spill ( )
  austcrimefiction | Apr 27, 2016 |
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