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An invisible monster is what you can't see coming. With an invisible monster you never know when you're in danger and when you're safe - if you retreat to your fortress you can't be sure you haven't locked it in with you.
It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the West Coast goldfields. On the night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men, who have met in secret to discuss a series of unsolved crimes.
A young mother in shocked contemplation of her new baby, and young women in rehab and jail feature in mostly short and oblique stories which echo and connect with cumulative power.
Twelve-year-old Frankie Parsons has rather large, quirky family. Until now they've been the centre of his universe, but now Frankie's view of his world begins to change.
Tom Stone, fortyish, English, is madly in love with his wife Ann, an Australian in self-imposed exile in London. Expecting their first child, they buy a semi-derelict house in Hackney.
In post-war Japan, Eric Keeling must investigate an alleged war crime, but do his actions constitute a further crime? In New Zealand, half a century later, this is the question that confronts his two children.
A man confronts death after an operation, a devout Christian encounters a man who hurt her long ago, a secretary uncovers her boss's secret shame, and in a house in Auckland an elderly woman is writing her last book, one which contains all her crimes...
Chester Farlowe was twelve when the coward Stronson shot his daddy down. Chester left the vast cattle ranches of New Zealand's central Volcanic Plateau for the badlands of urban Auckland.
In 1905 a motley group of young New Zealand rugby players sets out by steamer on a journey to the other side of the world. A year later most of them are back. Bearing scars of illness and injury they are accorded a hero's welcome.
Sometime in the 1860's Harry Head, "the Hermit of Hickory Bay" experimented unsuccessfully with flight in an isolated valley on Banks Peninsula. His story forms part of the exuberant blend of fact and fiction.
This is the story of an inmate in Bedlam, the London mental asylum, in the early 19th century. Living in appalling conditions he still manages to be witty, urbane and seemingly sane.
Vivid scenes from our colonial past right up to the current day: a previous prime minister tries to dodge a photographer; a writer reworks a film premise over and over again; taggers express themselves in their own language.
Edward Hunter is a family man with a beautiful wife and daughter, a great job, a bright future, and a dark past. Edward has struggled his entire life to put that all behind him, but it's hard when everybody knows you're the son of a serial killer.
The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories, edited by acclaimed novelist Paula Morris, provides a fascinating snapshot of New Zealand fiction in the early twenty-first century.
The story of a good though damaged man and his less than virtuous sister. As their childhood closeness unravels, Alice moves into her career in science (she's a mycologist), while Gordon descends into vagrancy and silence.
Te Rua holds a secret. But if he is to rescue his daughter Kiri from the neglectful care of his aunts then the truth will have to be told. Not only will his confession shame his family, but it will reverberate through the whole community.
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