Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Murder, political intrigue, bent cops and the fate of a nation - Auckland 1951




It’s Auckland 1951.  In a world a-fire with paranoia about the spread of communism, workers and the government are heading for a bloody confrontation - and the waterfront is the frontline. 

New Zealand’s wealthy business leaders and politicians are desperate to break the dispute before it begins and to crush the radical Waterfront Workers Union in the process.

Jonothan Cullinane’s brilliant new thriller, Red Herring, plunges the reader into the murky centre of the conflict. It cleverly mixes historical fact and real-life characters with fiction.

There’s Johnny Molloy, a left-leaning veteran of the Spanish Civil War and WW2, now a private detective hired to investigate possible insurance fraud by one of the watersiders.

There’s Fintan Patrick Walsh, the Federation of Labour big shot — and ruthless killer. There’s the cold-hearted Communist Party boss, V.G. Parker. There’s Frank O’Flynn, an IRA bomber on the run. There’s Sunny Day, a Maori Battalion veteran and all-round hard man. There’s the Kelly Gang, a group of conservative businessman attempting to run affairs of state from their deep leather armchairs in the Northern Club. And, there’s the feisty young Auckland Star reporter, Caitlin O’Carolan, following up on a few conspiracy theories of her own.

Red Herring takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through the back streets and dockland markets of Auckland where nothing is as it seems.  Glimpses at the familiar landscapes of Grey Lynn and Ponsonby will delight, but all the while the reader is left wondering – did this really happen or is it just a great novel!

 ‘I’ve always enjoyed hard-boiled fiction and thought it would be interesting to set a story in post-war New Zealand,’ says Jonothan Cullinane. ‘The waterfront dispute, which happened at the outbreak of the Korean War and the Cold War, had enormous economic repercussions and seemed a natural setting. Fintan Patrick Walsh is the perfect villain.’

About the author:
Jonothan Cullinane has worked as a barman and proof reader in New York, on oil rigs in Canada and the North Sea and in film and television in New Zealand.  He lives in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

RED HERRING by Jonothan Cullinane
Harper5 Collins -  RRP $36.99 | available 1 September |

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