Guerilla Season

Paul Thomas

Mandarin 1997
A book review by Danny Yee © 2005
Terrorism has come to New Zealand: a rabid right-wing talkback host is forced to "walk the plank" fifteen stories up; the best known print journalist in the country is murdered; and a monarchist MP is roasted to death and his bodyguard fed to a pit bull. These killings are claimed by the previously unknown Aotearoa People's Army and the anti-terrorism experts from Wellington are sure they're the work of Maori extremists, but maverick cop Tito Ihaka reckons they haven't got a clue.

Tito soon finds himself taken off the case, but is assigned instead to a blackmail attempt that turns out to be linked to it, and which unsettles those involved. When they make the mistake of kidnapping Tito himself, his friends go looking for him...

Guerilla Season maintains coherence through its fast-moving twists and turns, with a plot that holds together surprisingly well. Humour dominates over tension, with the extensive mayhem pitched for laughs rather than suspense. And there's some nice local colour, in the Auckland setting and the seedier side of some of its celebrities. Frivolous but fun, Guerilla Season is an entertaining comic thriller.

May 2005

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%T Guerilla Season
%A Thomas, Paul
%I Mandarin
%D 1997
%O paperback
%G ISBN 1863306315
%P 316pp