Crime fans in New Zealand are eagerly awaiting the new Paul Thomas novel, Fallout, which will feature the maverick Maori detective Tito Ihaka. The forthcoming New Zealand edition comes with a front cover recommendation from Ian Rankin. But even more interesting is the back cover endorsement which records that Thomas’ previous Ihaka book, Death on Demand, was Shots’ 2013 Crime Novel of the Year as judged by “UK Crime Fiction Guru Mike Ripley.
Tito Ihaka, the unkempt, overweight Maori cop was demoted to Sergeant due to insubordination and pig-headedness. He investigates the unsolved killing of 17-year-old girl at an election night party in a ritzy villa near Auckland. Ihaka is also embroiled in a very personal mystery. A freelance journalist has stumbled across information that Ihaka's father Jimmy, a trade union firebrand and renegade Marxist, didn't die of natural causes. The stories weave themselves into an exciting climax in an atmosphere of political manoeuvring and intrigue surrounding the USA's confrontation with New Zealand over its anti-nuclear stance.