It could be the plot of an internet-age thriller - an online campaign by an all-seeing blogger which reached into the real world to terrorise a normal, suburban family.
It began with online humiliation and nearly ended with blood and the smell of gunpowder.
For Matt Blomfield, partner Rebecca Blatchford and their two young girls, it's a story which is all too real.
The entire tale has been revealed this evening in a book called Whaleoil, which takes its name from the notorious website of bankrupt blogger Cameron Slater.
And, in an interview with the Herald, Blatchford is speaking for the first time about the extraordinary pressure she and her family were placed under during the seven years of fighting for the truth.
As worthy of a novel as it sounds, this is no fictionalised account.
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In the Whaleoil book, journalist Margie Thomson details an alleged conspiracy named "Operation Bumslide" which she claims sprang from a failed business relationship and sought to humiliate Blomfield.
The business relationship was Hell Pizza and the book claims the other party was Warren Powell, a wealthy New Zealander who now lives offshore.
Crucially, when Blomfield quit the business, he left behind a filled filing cabinet and hard drive containing 10 years of personal and financial information. It was this, the book alleges, which Powell supplied to the small group of people who, in early 2012, plotted against Blomfield.
Also involved in the plan, according to the book, was Powell's former colleague Amanda Easterbrook, and a former business associate of Blomfield, Marc Spring, and Slater.
Powell and Slater did not respond to requests from the Herald for comment. Spring did respond but offered no comment. Easterbrook sent a text message saying she was not a defendant in any proceedings and had not been summoned to court.
Details of 2012 meetings to discuss the plan are revealed in emails, which include off-colour humour portraying Blatchford and Blomfield as potential victims of sexual assault.
The alleged conspiracy began its work with Slater publishing dozens of defamatory blog posts in 2012, claiming - among other crimes - that Blomfield was involved in "drugs, fraud, extortion, bullying, corruption, collusion".
The accusations were accompanied by a real-world campaign which saw the group members make complaints to a range of enforcement and regulatory agencies about Blomfield and his business conduct.
According to the book, it led to Blomfield becoming "one of New Zealand's most investigated people".
Reeling from public assault and private inquiries, Blatchford and Blomfield also found themselves contending with anonymous text messages threatening humiliation and injury.
And then there was the home invasion which saw shotgun fire pepper the house and left Blomfield a bloodied mess. The Whaleoil book suggests the attack may have been linked to the campaign, as do Blatchford and Blomfield.
When it came to justice, Blomfield had to find his own. The police showed little interest and, as a bankrupt at the time of the blog posts, he had no money for a lawyer.
The book chronicles how Blomfield taught himself enough defamation law to take a case until he was able to once again pay lawyers. He also complained to the Privacy Commissioner, saying Slater had no right to take his personal information and use it to make false allegations.
After years of living in the shadow of the allegations, Blomfield emerged victorious from the High Court at Auckland last year. After countless hearings since 2012, Slater was found to have failed to properly plead a defence.
Then, the Human Rights Tribunal was damning when it found Slater had breached Blomfield's privacy. Journalists have legal protection from the Privacy Act, on which the tribunal makes rulings, but Slater found no shield in this case.
Instead, the tribunal found the blog posts - almost without exclusion - had no journalistic merit and described one as nothing more than "character assassination".
For Blatchford, speaking exclusively to the Herald about her family's torment, it was awful to consider the campaign wasn't simply a lone blogger who got it wrong. She believes it was worse than that.
"It was a group of them. Seeing they actually had meetings about what they were going to do next was really disturbing. I didn't know people could be that twisted with the things they said."
The first Blatchford knew of any of this was in 2012 when Blomfield pointed out a post on the Whaleoil site to which he had been alerted by email.
"I had no idea what it was. I didn't know what a blog was," she says. She "kind of laughed at first", baffled as to why someone she didn't know was writing things which made no sense about her husband.
And then they kept coming, blog post after blog post. It didn't take long to work out where the material seemed to have come from, and knowing where it had come from meant they knew Slater had access to 10 years of their digital life.
Those included family photographs, and as the blog posts were published, she received anonymous, taunting text messages suggesting she should prepare for the most private images to be public.
"I'm thinking, are they going to put pictures up of my children or of me after giving birth?"
There was anger and, as appeals to police went unanswered, an enormous amount of frustration. "I thought when things like this did happen, somebody would help you."
Feelings of helplessness and violation only increased when it later emerged the contents of the hard drive had been uploaded to a cloud server which allowed anyone with a password to access.
The way Blatchford describes it, the legal action which followed and consumed their lives for years was inevitable. The blog posts and complaints to enforcement agencies which followed saw Blomfield's permission to work - necessary with his bankruptcy - withdrawn by the Official Assignee.
With income and opportunities disappearing, Blomfield's lawyer Felix Geiringer says Blomfield had no other option. "Matt was being told it was not going to stop. He was told expressly the intent here was to trash his reputation and make him unemployable ever again … and they said they were going to keep going until they achieved that."
And so Blatchford watched her husband begin to study defamation law, spending days, evenings and weekends studying law and writing hundreds of thousands of words of legal documents.
In the seven years it took to find what justice they could, the defamation case and associated hearings were estimated to have taken Blomfield about 9000 hours to fight with a financial cost - of hours worked and lawyers hired - of around $1 million.
"It's taken so, so much time. And a lot of money. It's ridiculous how much time it has taken."
It was impacting on all their lives. Friends of their children were told by their parents to reject play date invitations, Blatchford came to dread school pick ups because of the knowing looks, and their social circle shrank.
"More and more people started believing it. I did really show us who our true friends are."
Not only did those who read the blog posts back away. So did those worried they would wind up on Slater's hit list. "Operation Bumslide" blog posts included tags to pull in business associates and other acquaintances. Others were alerted with emails providing links to the posts.
For Blatchford, it was a crisis of constant shock. The impact is lasting. Even now, her hands shake when speaking of what has happened.
She has PTSD from the home invasion by a masked gunman later identified as Ned Tehuru Paraha, along with an anxiety disorder which began with those taunting text messages. They brought with them a feeling of awful foreboding.
"It was awful but it didn't seem unreal because I knew it was going to happen. I could just feel it escalating. I knew something was going to happen and no one was helping … and knowing there was nothing I could do to stop it."
The book describes the horror of Paraha's intrusion into their home - Blomfield stepping outside to see why the dog was barking, the discovery of a strange man wearing a Spider-Man mask and carrying a shotgun.
The brawl which followed was brutal. Blomfield charged the intruder, the shotgun was fired and then fought over. Blatchford ran to help, scooping up a bamboo pole and hitting Paraha. From the window, one of their daughters - aged 8 - watched in horror.
Paraha regained the shotgun and fired it again - it was fired at least twice - as Blomfield, off balance, fell to the ground. Blatchford ran for the house, thinking he was dead, pausing only to lock the door. When Blomfield rose, Paraha was using the gun to smash windows, attempting to enter the house.
Blomfield tackled Paraha and again they fought. Paraha used the shotgun to beat Blomfield about the head but eventually he fled. Inside the house, Blatchford believed her husband was dead and was hiding with their girls under a bed. She had called police, which led to about 40 officers with automatic rifles descending on the neighbourhood.
Paraha was caught through DNA months later, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to injure and other charges then sent to prison for 5 years and 10 months.
There was no investigation into how he came to be there. Four years later, police acknowledged this, saying "others were likely responsible for the planning of this offending". A fresh investigation has been completed and is being considered by Crown Law.
They spent many weeks living in motels, terrified Paraha would return, before returning to the family home.
Blatchford rejected moving after the assault. There wasn't the money and, she remembered thinking, "we're tougher than that. How dare they do that to us".
"But it wasn't a good idea. Being in the same place of a traumatic event, you're constantly reminded of it over and over. And for the children … it wasn't good."
In her mind - and Blomfield's - the intensity of focus on her partner and the home invasion were always linked.
"I thought justice came quickly. That was a massive eye opener, to see that it doesn't. I don't think there's any justice."
Asked if the cost, frustration, stress and time had her thinking of leaving Blomfield, she says: "It would have broken him."
You love the person you're with and that means you just get on with it, she says. "And I've been really proud of him the whole, entire time."
When Slater wrote the posts, the book says, he was approaching the pinnacle of his power as a blogger with a national media award, contact with the Prime Minister and other senior ministers and the ears and eyes of the media. Now Slater is bankrupt, the company which owns the Whaleoil blog is in liquidation and he has suffered a stroke.
Blomfield didn't write the book but co-operated completely with author Margie Thomson. "The book is my right of reply," he says. "Ultimately, my only recourse has been to tell my story."
It has changed his life completely. His business - among other things - was once coming up with glib, offensive ways of marketing Hell Pizza. Now, he uses his hard-won knowledge of the law to solve difficult problems for people with few other options.
The end is in sight, although not yet arrived. A hearing to work out how much in damages should be paid is scheduled for late 2020.
Blomfield has been consumed by finding justice, yet now wants "to let go of some of the anguish towards these individuals".
"We're talking about a guy who used to have conversations with the Prime Minister, who was friends with the Minister of Justice (Judith Collins), who was praised on television about his amazing contacts.
His view of Slater is clear.
"The fall from grace Cameron has had to endure was a tragedy. It's a sad story. It's hard not to feel sorry for him because he's so goddamned pathetic."