4 out of 4 stars
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Detective Nick Cooper is torn by his past, angry that his father was non-existent in his life apart from one brief and dark encounter with him. Nick’s life is much brighter with his partner Maria in it – he attempts to woo Maria to marry him but she refuses to consider it until he gives up his job. Detective Tobe White is nearing retirement and has a lot more experience and knowledge which Nick respects and values in his partner, despite Tobe’s inherent quirks.
Nick and Tobe are called to an unusual early morning hostage situation in the small town of Lawrence. A number of high-level gang leaders are holding an innocent family hostage and when the police standoff doesn’t quite go to plan it unfolds that one gang leader has escaped with a hostage. Nick and Tobe struggle to make sense of the situation and find themselves following a series of odd leads and hunches as they attempt to find the missing pair in the rugged New Zealand bush. Tobe remains level-headed and operates by the book. Nick grapples with the father/son relationships involved and the meaning of ‘good’ and how the law should apply to a good person – leaving him to make up his own mind.
The Easter Make Believers, by Finn Bell, is a crime thriller set in the South Island of New Zealand. I really enjoyed getting to know Nick as he reflected on his past and was able to empathise with the fathers and sons tied up in the hostage ordeal. As a New Zealander, I could relate to the scenery, historic setting and gang background well – in fact I was delighted to find that not only was the author based in New Zealand but that the book was also set in New Zealand.
The storyline had lots of twists and turns, just what you expect in a riveting thriller and while I was a little thrown off by the other two parallel storylines, I soon found them to contribute to the suspense and mystery. I loved the descriptive and very realistic portrayal of the ensuing southerly storm and how I continually had to question my assumptions. However, I was left a little perplexed by the character of Sylvie and her role in the story but other than that there was nothing else that I disliked about the book.
I didn’t detect any errors in the text which appears to be professionally edited. I rate Finn Bell’s The Easter Make Believers 4 out of 4 stars as it delivered on all levels for me and fully engaged me with the characters and their story. Readers who enjoy a good detective thriller that twists and turns, as well as has depth, will enjoy this story for sure. Readers who are averse to a bit of blood, guts and violence may not enjoy it quite as much.
The Easter Make Believers
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