Better the Blood: The compelling debut that introduces Hana Westerman, a tenacious Maori detective
'A compelling, atmospheric page turner with an authentic insight into Māori culture' Val McDermid
A DETECTIVE IN SEARCH OF THE TRUTH.
A KILLER IN SEARCH OF RETRIBUTION.
A CLASH BETWEEN CULTURE AND DUTY.
THE PAST NEVER TRULY STAYS BURIED.
Hana Westerman is a tenacious Māori detective juggling single motherhood and the pressures of her career in Auckland’s Central Investigation Branch. When she’s led to a crime scene by a mysterious video, she discovers a man hanging in a secret room. As Hana and her team work to track down the killer, other deaths lead her to think that they are searching for New Zealand’s first serial killer.
With little to go on, Hana must use all her experience as a police officer to try and find a motive to these apparently unrelated murders. What she eventually discovers is a link to an historic crime that leads back to the brutal bloody colonisation of New Zealand.
When the pursuit becomes frighteningly personal, Hana realises that her heritage and knowledge are their only keys to finding the killer.
But as the murders continue, it seems that the killer's agenda of revenge may include Hana – and her family . . .
WELCOME TO THE DARK SIDE OF PARADISE.
'Better the Blood touches on themes that have become increasingly urgent in recent years including the far-reaching impacts of colonialism and the often uneasy integration of identity and heritage into modern multicultural society. A tensely plotted, gritty crime novel that has the courage to force us all to rethink our relationship with the past' Vaseem Khan
‘As page-turning as it is eye-opening. An excitingly fresh perspective upon a world you thought you knew’ Ambrose Parry
‘Stunning. Better the Blood is a tremendous debut, and Hana Westerman, the Māori detective at the center of the story, instantly becomes one of the great characters in crime fiction on any continent. This novel has it all: a gripping mystery, complex and memorable characters, and timely social and cultural commentary. Don’t miss it’ David Heska Wanbli Weiden, author of Winter Counts
‘Packed with intricate detail about Maori history and culture, this tense and involving story ushers in a remarkable new detective’ Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail
‘This thought-provoking debut is a compelling, insightful and highly addictive read’ My Weekly
‘So chilling’ Crime Monthly
‘[A] stellar series launch . . . Immersed in modern-day technologies and with a keen sensitivity to cultural issues, this is a finely crafted page-turner. Bennett is a writer to watch’ Publishers Weekly (starred review)
'Bennett unflinchingly weaves together layers of fallout from New Zealand’s bloody colonization, enduring Māori culture, and gripping procedural details. Hopefully this compelling debut heralds the start of a long-running series' Booklist
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