Betrayal, revenge and murder; lovely meaty sounding terms, eh? They’re such thrilling, blood dripping and juicy words that I’ve always loved, but only in fiction of course. I mean… I never thought, not for one second, that I’d ever become the central character in such a terrible story myself, but I have. And that’s the thought that runs through my mind as I move sneakily up behind Tommy O’Brien to push him over the edge of this high sea cliff. (more…)
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The rain was driving down when the police came for Melanie Atkinson. She lived in a trailer on the verge of town and had, ever since the fire that obliterated the childhood home she had shared with her dad, Mitchell. It had been a story of thwarted aspirations and dead ends, that sometimes occurs in depressed rural areas. About ten years before, Mitchell had moved to the town to start up a mechanics business, but the promised Taranaki oil boom had never eventuated, and the strains on his marriage with Alannah had led his soldier wife to take up with another man. Or had it been Mitchell and Irene, the school teacher, at the same time? For whatever reason, Melanie became cold and distant. And then, one evening, she came running into town, with the night torn by the sound and fury of her home going up behind her. Blackriver was a small, insular New Zealand town, and in such places, prejudice and rigidity are the main course. Anyone with ambition and drive left when they hit eighteen and went off elsewhere to learn a trade, or headed off to polytech or university. They never came back. (more…)