You Belong To Me
Colin Harrison (Bloomsbury $24.99)
Paul Reeves is a well-off, single, 50 year old lawyer in Manhattan with a passion for maps. The neighbouring apartment to his is occupied by a young, Iranian businessman and his beautiful, pill-popping, all-American trophy wife.
One of those women "not born into the world of money but had pushed or pulled or moaned her way into it".
And now she's cavorting with a hunky, straight-arrow Texan - he even turns up in his pick-up-truck - from her dodgy, small town past.
We're in typical Harrison territory - the elite of New York - their greed, dirty secrets and vanities - think the late Dominick Dunne if he wrote thrillers.
Possession - of objects, people, love, status, money is the theme. The novel begins in an auction room and in many ways never leaves it.
Everything and everyone is up for grabs at the right price. Recommended.
A Killer Harvest
Paul Cleave (Upstart Press $34.99)
Despite winning our Ngaio Marsh Awards three times Christchurch writer Paul Cleave remains better known overseas than he is here.
Hopefully this smart psychological thriller helps change that. Cleave's brand of crime fiction comes with elements of horror and science fiction and things get pretty brutal in places here. It opens with a wonderful action set-piece on a Christchurch construction site - with two detectives questioning a murder suspect.
That arrest goes awry but sets up the main plot point - an eye transplant from detective to his foster son Joshua who has been blind from birth. Good news you might think - but a mishap at the hospital means he receives one eye from his foster dad, and another from the killer.
Cleave, who is himself blind in one eye, plays loose with the medical reality of eye transplants - and I wonder if The Adverts 80's punk anthem Looking Through Gary Gilmore's Eyes had some part in the book's inspiration. A book rich in thrills and horror from a master craftsman.
Lynda La Plante (Bonnier Zaffre $36.99)
La Plante will go down in history as a major influence on tv crime shows. Her 90s hit ITV series Prime Suspect - not only brought Helen Mirren to public attention - but pioneered the sort of gritty, wide-ranging roles for women viewers now take for granted. Good Friday is the third in a series of prequel novels - where La Plante - now in her mid 70s - focuses on Tennison's days as a rookie cop. London in 1976 - is much like London today - a city under siege, targeted by terrorists (IRA), but there's no attempt to broaden the book to any political focus. Instead there's a lot of plot moving by dialogue here and an unnecessary focus on Tennison's domestic situation.
I Know a Secret
Tess Gerritsen (Bantam Press $37)
The 12th Rizzoli and Isles thriller sees the Boston-based team - Rizzoli's the detective and Isles a forensic pathologist - on the hunt for the killer of a young woman who's found in gruesome circumstances. Do the horror films she makes with Daddy's money have anything to do with her death? And why has someone taken the time to gauge out her eyes post-mortem?
But Gerritsen is just getting warmed up, and those who've seen the Rizzoli and Isles TV show - which ended its run last year - may be surprised how dark this gets.
The subplot involving Isles and her on and off again affair with a priest gets a little tiresome but fans of the popular series will find plenty here to like.