Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Mystery and mayhem in Moore’s Empty Coffin
The Empty Coffin,
Gary MooreMary Egan Publishing, RRP $30.
“I know this sounds crazy but there was blue light coming out of his hands and I could feel all my pain flowing out of me.”
When Dean Bradley is brutally murdered for his new shoes, undertaker Ken Tamati does a lovely job on the corpse — but next morning, the body has vanished from the funeral parlour.
That day, a mysterious figure — witnesses give wildly conflicting descriptions — begins rescuing victims of assault all over Auckland and healing their horrific injuries with a dazzling light. They call him the Rainbow Man.
Who is he? The police and media think the stories of apparent miracles can’t possibly be true. The public thinks this may be the Second Coming.Meanwhile a brutal serial killer is about to strike again; young Tom Heke is on the run from both the police and a fearsome Maori gang; and Constable Mary Clark puzzles her colleagues by knowing more about the Rainbow Man than she should.
Gary Moore’s debut novel is a high-octane Kiwi thriller with cracking dialogue, sly humour and a sense of justice in a world spinning out of control.
Editor’s note: Gary wryly jokes that much of his work life has been dedicated to killing people; with jobs in the Air Force, a cigarette factory and latterly making munitions.The author’s early years were spent at Mount Maunganui and at the age of two he lost his father and uncle in the Ranui sinking. His mother eventually remarried when he was nine and life became one new city and school after another as his new father’s work with civil aviation meant they would only settle in an area of New Zealand for a few years and then move elsewhere. In all, Gary attended eight different schools in four cities, which he found to be a huge disruption to his learning and consequently lost interest. After somehow managing to get his school certificate and also winning a scholarship in engineering he joined the Air Force and became an engine fitter, then followed a marriage producing two daughters who both shared his passion for reading from an early age and loved him reading to them each night. After a while they began to prefer stories he made up and through this he began to think about writing his own books. Gary began writing almost twenty years ago then his circumstances changed and he shelved it. Now residing in Australia, he has decided to revisit some of his unfinished stories, this book is the first of them.