Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

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ResearchMed
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Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:13 am

I enjoy reading books set in locations we are heading to soon, especially if we've never been there before.
I've especially enjoyed police procedurals/detective types, but with minimal violence (please).

We've made a sort-of late decision to head to New Zealand and Australia for a cruise from Auckland to Sydney, so I need to get some serious reading in soon... and of course, there will be some l-o-n-g flights to get there!

Suggestions?

Many thanks!

RM
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dcare
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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by dcare » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:38 am

RM:

This may be slightly outside of your police procedurals/detective types genre, but they are well written and I thoroughly enjoyed the series.

Sulari Gentill is an Australian author, also known under the pen name of S.D. Gentill. She initially studied astrophysics before becoming a corporate lawyer, but has since become a writer.
Sulari is author of award-winning Rowland Sinclair Mysteries, a series of historical crime fiction novels set in the 1930s (in Australia) about Rowland Sinclair, the gentleman artist-cum-amateur-detective.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by MJS » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:52 am

Arthur Upfield's series was written in the 1930-1960's. The historical and social background are secondary to the police procedural in a rural nation.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by margered » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:54 am

Garry Disher

FIBoston
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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by FIBoston » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:00 pm

Not a book but you should check out Season 1 of "Top of the Lake". Police procedural set in New Zealand starring Elisabeth Moss (West Wing, Handmaid's Tale) and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings). It's gritty, but it's gooood.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by AlohaJoe » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:01 pm

The Dry
Sweet Water, Stolen Land (and any others by the same author)
Above Suspicion
The Old School
Crimson Lake
The Rules of Back Yard Cricket
The Dark Lake
The Broken Shore

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by SrGrumpy » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:13 pm

Not sure if the Boney books are still in print, but I used to watch the Australian TV show as a kid:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bony_(character)

Dame Ngaio Marsh is the NZ version of Agatha Christie. Lots to choose from, incl. Dyed in the Wool.

If you need a break from books, the NZ govt site NZonscreen.com has a lot of old (and new) programming. Among the offerings is an episode of Shark in the Park, a 90s light cop drama set in Wellington. Let's say the script would never get made now!

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by sbaywriter » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:15 pm

I second Ngaio Marsh.

More modern style: Kerry Greenwood's mysteries featuring Phryne Fisher, set in Australia in the 1920s, the TV series is also great

Also not mystery/police procedural but good novelist who wrote many novels, some set in Australia:

Nevil Shute, pen name of Nevil Shute Norway, English aeronautical engineer who emigrated to Australia in the 1950s

My favorites, set in Australia:
A Town Like Alice – about half the book is a story of heroic wartime survival in Malaysia and then it moves to Australia
Beyond the Black Stump - an amusing comparison of rural life of Australia and America in the 1950s, seen through the eyes of an Australian of course
The Far Country

(Avoid On the Beach unless you like to read stories about the end of the world)

Warning – several kindle versions of these books were practically unreadable with typos, as though they had been scanned through a bad OCR system and never cleaned up.

Been watching a TV series on Acorn featuring a lady former police now private investigator kind of, set in Melbourne: MY LIFE IS MURDER

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:26 pm

I realize this is a completely different genre but the movie What We Do In the Shadows is a mockumentary set in Wellington about a group of vampires who share a house together. It's darkly funny and a hilariously accurate portrait of nightlife in the Kiwi capital.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by ResearchMed » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:33 pm

sbaywriter wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:15 pm
I second Ngaio Marsh.

More modern style: Kerry Greenwood's mysteries featuring Phryne Fisher, set in Australia in the 1920s, the TV series is also great

Also not mystery/police procedural but good novelist who wrote many novels, some set in Australia:

Nevil Shute, pen name of Nevil Shute Norway, English aeronautical engineer who emigrated to Australia in the 1950s

My favorites, set in Australia:
A Town Like Alice – about half the book is a story of heroic wartime survival in Malaysia and then it moves to Australia
Beyond the Black Stump - an amusing comparison of rural life of Australia and America in the 1950s, seen through the eyes of an Australian of course
The Far Country

(Avoid On the Beach unless you like to read stories about the end of the world)

Warning – several kindle versions of these books were practically unreadable with typos, as though they had been scanned through a bad OCR system and never cleaned up.

Been watching a TV series on Acorn featuring a lady former police now private investigator kind of, set in Melbourne: MY LIFE IS MURDER
The moment I saw the name Nevil Shute, pretty grim memories of the moving "On The Beach" flooded my mind.
My father took me to see that movie when I was apparently at a very impressionable age, and, well, it pretty much scarred me for a while (hmmm... here I am now, too...!).
Those were tricky years... and I remember going away to "overnight camp" and being convinced I'd never see my parents again because what happened in that movie was going to happen "to us".

Sigh.
I had forgotten about that...

RM
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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by sbaywriter » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:23 am

Sorry to bring back bad memories, yes, can't get much grimmer than Nevil Shute's On the Beach. Don't worry, almost all his other books are the opposite, obstacles are there but are overcome, people face adversity but win through, etc, uplifting.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:29 am

Preston & Child’s Agent Pendergast series. Rich in detail and history. Very engaging characters.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by nisiprius » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:14 am

sbaywriter wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:23 am
Sorry to bring back bad memories, yes, can't get much grimmer than Nevil Shute's On the Beach. Don't worry, almost all his other books are the opposite, obstacles are there but are overcome, people face adversity but win through, etc, uplifting.
And several of the uplifting ones are a) set in Australia, and b) great. A Town like Alice is only partly set in Australia. If I remember correctly, The Far Country and In the Wet are entirely Australian. Also Beyond the Black Stump. And I rejoice that after a long period of absence most or all of his books are now back in print, paper and eBook.

They are not police procedurals, but if you know Nevil Shute you'll know that his books have a kind of intensity of detail that has much the same kind of appeal. His characters are real people, tacking very concrete real-world problems, and draw you in seeing how they do it, step by step.
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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:45 am

The Scarecrow, by R.H. Morrieson. Available on Amazon, and one of the Carradines started in a movie adaptation. Not really a police procedural, but NZ's version of To Kill A Mockingbird (every kid reads it at school), but waaaay out there.

Fourteen-year-old Neddy and his mate Les take swift revenge on the chicken-rustling Lynch Gang, but things turn sinister when vulture-like Hubert Salter stalks into town. There's a sex killer on the loose, and Neddy is in fear for his sister's safety. Pop culture meets Gothic melodrama in this brilliant, hallucinatory novel.

And a true-life corrupt cop procedural: Man falsely convicted of a double murder due to police malfeasance. Many books have been written, and people still argue about it almost 50 years later:

Arthur Allan Thomas: The Inside Story: Crewe Murders https://www.amazon.com/dp/0958240175/re ... FDbRRPMA9S

Books about Minnie Dean, the only woman hanged In NZ; and 1940s cop killer Stanley Graham are worth tracking down. Print runs in NZ and Australia are very small.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by Barkingsparrow » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:25 pm

FIBoston wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:00 pm
Not a book but you should check out Season 1 of "Top of the Lake". Police procedural set in New Zealand starring Elisabeth Moss (West Wing, Handmaid's Tale) and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings). It's gritty, but it's gooood.
What streaming service still carries this series?

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by spectec » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:42 pm

I recommend "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes for anyone wanting to get acquainted with Australia's history. It begins with an explanation of the origins of the "Transportation" system and then brings you forward in history. You learn a great deal about the actual circumstances of the founding of Australia vs some of the simplistic myths we hear today. It's a compilation of historical records and information gleaned from letters written from & to the colony during the early years. Specific to your interest, there are some very interesting descriptions of how the local system evolved as convicts became free after serving their time and became law enforcement officers themselves.

For me, it was a compelling book which I'm re-reading in preparation for an upcoming trip there myself. (Cruise in the opposite direction) You can get it in paperback, used, for about $5.
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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by TallBoy29er » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am

Two Man Booker award winners set in NZ.

The Bone People. It was good, but it is long, and can take a bit to get through.

The Luminaries. I haven't read it yet, bit it's on my to do list. It is set in the 1800's on the South Island. The synopsis sounds interesting.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by siamond » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:48 pm

spectec wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:42 pm
I recommend "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes for anyone wanting to get acquainted with Australia's history.
Agreed, it is an amazing book, incredibly well researched, vividly written and fascinating to read. I am mid way through it!

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by FIBoston » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:13 am

Barkingsparrow wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:25 pm
FIBoston wrote:
Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:00 pm
Not a book but you should check out Season 1 of "Top of the Lake". Police procedural set in New Zealand starring Elisabeth Moss (West Wing, Handmaid's Tale) and David Wenham (Lord of the Rings). It's gritty, but it's gooood.
What streaming service still carries this series?
i believe Hulu has it. You can also purchase the entire season for $5 on Amazon Prime.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:14 pm

The Jane Harper novels (The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man) fit the requirements in your title, and would make great airplane reads on the way there and back.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:14 pm

And for fun watching what happens when Australians move to New Zealand you could binge watch 800 Words.

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Re: Books set in New Zealand/Australia (police procedurals)

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:36 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Two Man Booker award winners set in NZ.

The Bone People. It was good, but it is long, and can take a bit to get through.
Ha! I remember when Bone People won the Booker. Every single inhabitant rushed out and bought it. I estimate at least 95% never finished (and most of those never started). It was easier to wear a bone necklace instead.

P.S. Not sure that it fits OP's requirements for a police procedural.

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