Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Monday, September 11, 2017
The Sound of her Voi
The Sound of Her Voice: One
Cop’s Descent into Darkness
Some folks believe that crime novels involving the police are
exaggerated versions of the real thing; The Sound of Her Voice
reveals they couldn’t be more wrong. Nathan Blackwell is a former police
detective. He takes you in to the real world of murky, disturbing and downright
terrifying policing. This novel will shock.
The Sound of Her Voice is fiction, but Blackwell draws on real
cases, each chapter revealing a seemingly standalone crime. As the story
unfolds, we are shown, bit by bit, that the horrors of what went on before, is
inextricably woven into what happens next.
The novel’s protagonist, Detective Matt Buchanan, unravels
as he pieces together the crimes he’s trying to solve. Ultimately, it gets too
personal, he goes too far, and, as the subtitle suggests, Buchanan descends
the world is a pretty sick place. He has probably been in the job too long, for
one thing. And then there’s 14-year-old Samantha Coates, and the other unsolved
murder cases. Those innocent girls he just can’t get out of his head. When
Buchanan pursues some fresh leads, it soon becomes clear he’s on the trail of
something big. As he pieces the horrific crimes together, Buchanan finds the
very foundations of everything he once believed in start to crumble. He’s
forced across that grey line that separates right and wrong – into places so
dark, even he might not make it back.
In his former capacity
as a detective, author Nathan Blackwell says he found sexual offending
the hardest to deal with.
“The victims are re-living it, over and over, attempting to
deal with surviving the most horrific traumas. As a cop, your job is to be the
sounding board, the voice of hope, the link between them and the wheels of the
legal system. It's a very tough, long process. I think I've tried to bring that
out in the book. I definitely worked harder on those cases than anything else,
because you get to know those people. You see them take the stand to give
evidence, holding it together, giving it everything. And then the lawyers break
them down. It's horrible.”
This astonishing novel will grip you and will stay in your head long
after you’ve finished reading it.
Nathan Blackwell was raised on Auckland’s North Shore
and attended Westlake Boys’ High School before commencing a ten-year career in
the New Zealand Police. Seven of those years were spent as a Detective in the Criminal
Investigation Branch, where he was exposed to human nature at its strongest and
bravest, but also at its most depraved and horrific. He investigated a wide
range of cases including drug manufacture, child abuse, corruption, serious
violence, rape and murder. Because some of his work was conducted covertly,
Nathan chooses to hide his true identity.
Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell|Mary Egan Publishing|RRP.