Friday 6 December 2019

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell BLOG TOUR @Nathan_B_Author @orionbooks @Tr4cyF3nt0n #TheSoundOfHerVoice

Detective Buchanan remembers every victim.
But this one he can't forget.
The body of a woman has been found on a pristine New Zealand beach - over a decade after she was murdered.
Detective Matt Buchanan of the Auckland Police is certain it carries all the hallmarks of an unsolved crime he investigated 12 years ago: when Samantha Coates walked out one day and never came home.
Re-opening the case, Buchanan begins to piece the terrible crimes together, setting into motion a chain of events that will force him to the darkest corners of society - and back into his deepest obsession...
Shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Best Crime Novel of the Year award, The Sound of Her Voice is a brilliantly gripping crime thriller for fans of Sirens by Joe Knox, Streets of Darkness by A.A. Dhand, Stuart Macbride and Ian Rankin.

The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackwell was published on 18 April 2019 by Orion Books. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review, and to Tracy from Compulsive Readers who invited me to take part on this Blog Tour.

Nathan Blackwell is the pseudonym of an ex New Zealand police officer. I heard him speak about his writing, and this novel; The Sound of Her Voice, at the Newcastle Noir festival earlier this year. 
He's a compelling and interesting speaker and I was determined to read his book. I'm happy to say that his writing is just as engrossing as his spoken word.

What is most unusual about this novel is that, although it is a crime novel; it's not structured in the usual way. The reader is not handed one specific crime here. This novel follows the career of Detective Buchanan, from his very early days as a rookie cop; discovering in horror the body of a  colleague killed on duty, right through the following twelve years. Buchanan is haunted by an unsolved crime; the disappearance of young Samantha Coates.

When the remains of a young woman are discovered in amongst the mangroves. Buchanan's thoughts immediately turn, once again, to Samantha. However, just like many cases before this, it isn't the body of Samantha at all, and this hardened detective has a new killer to hunt down.

Nathan Blackwell has thrown a lot at Buchanan, and in turn, at his readers.  Buchanan's career and personal life have been difficult, to say the least. He's left the force more than once, only to return, and he's now the single father to a young daughter after the death of his wife.

Fast-paced, gritty and at times, an uncomfortable read; The Sound of Her Voice is an excellent debut from an author who writes with such authority. Readers should be aware that there are scenes and descriptions of horrific crimes that burn a picture into the brain that can be difficult to get rid of. However, none of this is done gratuitously, every single word is essential to the plot, and if you like your crime dark, then you'll enjoy this one. 

I especially enjoyed the New Zealand setting. This is the second book that I've read this month has is set there. The books couldn't be more different, but the author's ability to transport his reader to his home land is exceptional.

Dark and brooding, with an intricately constructed plot and a fabulous lead character. I look forward to reading more from this author.

Image may contain: one or more people, sky, ocean, twilight, cloud, outdoor, water and natureNathan Blackwell was raised on Auckland’s North Shore and attended Westlake Boys’ High  before commencing a ten-year career in the New Zealand Police. 
Seven of those years were spent as a Detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch, where he was exposed to human nature at its strongest and bravest, but also at its most depraved and horrific. 
He investigated a wide range of cases including drug manufacture, child abuse, corruption, serious violence, rape and murder. 
Because some of his work was conducted covertly, Nathan chooses to hide his true identity.

Author Page on Facebook

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