Fremantle Press, 2017 (I own a copy, courtesy of the publisher)
The plot of Marlborough Man has many strands to it, but Alan Carter manages to weave these all together in a well-paced and satisfying way. First, there is the cat and mouse game aspect: Nick, his wife Vanessa, and their son Paulie, are in danger as Nick's past appears to be catching up with them. Meanwhile, a child murderer known to police as The Pied Piper strikes again. Nick finds a link to an older crime, and with the aid of his sassy, tough and thoroughly likeable offsider, Latifa Rapata, he befriends members of the local Maori community, when he discovers that the death of one of their own may hold the key. While I'm sorry to say I did guess who the killer was before the end, the solution to the complex puzzle laid out for the reader had clearly been meticulously planned, and while it wasn't obvious, all the clues were there if you wanted to solve the case alongside the protagonist.
At times, I found the endings of the chapters a little bit abrupt in this book-- sometimes, this attempt at leaving the story on a cliffhanger hit the mark, and other times, it just seemed to cut off with a bald statement, but this was the only aspect of the writing of the story which jarred with me. Would I read another Alan Carter novel? Yes, I think I would.
I gave Marlborough Man four stars.
If you would like to hear Alan Carter speaking about Marlborough Man, you can catch him at the Bassendean Memorial Library on Wednesday November 1. Please see the library's website for more details.