Death on Demand by Paul Thomas | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Death on Demand

Death on Demand

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by Paul Thomas
     
 

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"It's the stuff the best gangster films are made of, perfectly composed, the action kept in the realm of reality and a steady, tense wire of human pathos running down its spine."—The Coast

"Tito Ihaka, the maverick Maori cop, dances through a minefield of police politics, old grudges, blackmail, and gangs as he hunts a faceless killer in Auckland.

Overview

"It's the stuff the best gangster films are made of, perfectly composed, the action kept in the realm of reality and a steady, tense wire of human pathos running down its spine."—The Coast

"Tito Ihaka, the maverick Maori cop, dances through a minefield of police politics, old grudges, blackmail, and gangs as he hunts a faceless killer in Auckland. Filled with helter-skelter storylines, witty dialogue, and captivating characters."—Herald on Sunday

Paul Thomas, the godfather of contemporary New Zealand crime writing, often described by some as "Elmore Leonard on acid," has brought back offbeat local hero Detective Sergeant Tito Ihaka.

Maori cop Ihaka, unkempt, overweight, intemperate, unruly, unorthodox, and profane, is a cop unable to play the police politics necessary for promotion, but he's a man who has a way with women, and he's a stubborn investigator with an uncanny instinct for the truth.

Tito Ihaka is in the wilderness, having fallen foul of the new regime at Auckland Central. Called back to follow up a strange twist in the unsolved case that got him into trouble in the first place, Ihaka finds himself hunting a shadowy hitman who could have several notches on his belt.

His enemies want him off the case, but the bodies are piling up. Ihaka embarks on a quest to establish whether police corruption was behind the shooting of an undercover cop and—to complicate matters—he becomes involved with an enigmatic female suspect who could hold the key to everything.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/26/2013
Ned Kelly Award–winner Thomas takes his time letting readers in on what he’s got up his sleeve in his fourth police procedural starring Maori Det. Sgt. Tito Ihaka (after 1996’s Guerilla Season), but the deferred gratification is well worth it. A prologue opens 14 years in the past in Greytown, New Zealand. Eight years later, four male friends, a property developer, a lawyer, a dentist, and a businessman, are enjoying a regular weekend away together on Waiheke Island. A discussion of marital discontent ends with a joke about using the phone directory to call a hit man. Three months later, Joyce, presumably the wife of one of the four pals, is fatally struck by a car while jogging in an Auckland suburb. More people die, one way or another, as the action moves to the present. Ihaka, who must deal with prejudice from within the force, investigates. A twisty plot and an unusual lead combine to make this a winner, and even newcomers will hope that the wait for the next installment will be less than 17 years. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
‘A husband’s offhand remark about hiring a hit man loses its humor when someone offers to take care of the task. The Auckland, New Zealand, case was never solved, and only Maori DS Tito Ihaka suspected the moneyed husband. Ihaka’s rough edges and zeal effectively doomed him, and six years ago, he was reassigned to the Wellington area. Now, new revelations indicate that Ihaka’s instincts were right; he is brought back to reopen the cold case. Before long, things turn hot as a complicated case involving grifters and shifting identities means more victims will fall. VERDICT New Zealand’s irascible cop Tito Ihaka has been MIA since Thomas’s last series entry in 1996 (Guerilla Season), and his return pleases on so many levels. Thomas is a past winner of the Ned Kelly Award, and this one looks to be a future nominee as well.’ Library Journal

‘Ned Kelly Award–winner Thomas takes his time letting readers in on what he’s got up his sleeve in his fourth police procedural starring Maori Det. Sgt. Tito Ihaka (after 1996’s Guerilla Season), but the deferred gratification is well worth it. A prologue opens 14 years in the past in Greytown, New Zealand. Eight years later, four male friends, a property developer, a lawyer, a dentist, and a businessman, are enjoying a regular weekend away together on Waiheke Island. A discussion of marital discontent ends with a joke about using the phone directory to call a hit man. Three months later, Joyce, presumably the wife of one of the four pals, is fatally struck by a car while jogging in an Auckland suburb. More people die, one way or another, as the action moves to the present. Ihaka, who must deal with prejudice from within the force, investigates. A twisty plot and an unusual lead combine to make this a winner, and even newcomers will hope that the wait for the next installment will be less than 17 years.’ Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“It’s the stuff the best gangster films are made of, and as a suspense/crime novel ‘Death on Demand’ is perfectly composed, with the action kept in the realm of reality and a steady, tense wire of human pathos running down its spine. Just as Ihaka fails to be surprised by the mendacity he encounters, living in a world in which cops and crims engage gladly in mutual back-scratching, so Thomas shows us that in the end, anyone is capable of just about anything. As Ihaka reflects: “Everyone gets called to account . . . One way or another, everybody pays.” The Coast

"Paul Thomas, a bestselling New Zealand crime writer, deserves to be better known here. A lively plot, a good variety of characters, and Thomas doesn’t burden us with excessive stuff about the detective’s ethnic or tribal background." Times

“Local hero, local setting, world-class crime writing: Ihaka’s return is a rollicking read” The Listener

"A splendidly written, constantly engaging, deliberately puzzling, always gripping story. Ihaka is wonderful, his fellow-cops and the crims (not always the same people) well delineated, and the women both femme and fatale." Crime Time

“Tito Ihaka, the maverick Maori cop, dances through a minefield of police politics, old grudges, blackmail, and gangs as he hunts a faceless killer in Auckland. Filled with helter-skelter storylines, witty dialogue, and captivating characters.” Herald on Sunday

"Foul-mouthed, ungovernable and not above meeting racist abuse with physical assault Maori detective Tito Ihaka of the Auckland police is a splendid creation. As a reader, you can't help wincing at the scrapes he gets himself into but you can't take your eyes off him either. Those familiar with the dry Kiwi wit will know what to expect from Thomas's dialogue. It may be occasionally shocking but it's never disappointing. It's early in the year but this is already on my list of 2013's best." Morning Star

“Death on Demand sees the welcome return of Tito Ihaka, a maverick Maori cop, who this time goes after an elusive hitman. The unfamiliar locations are as compelling as the actions.” Sunday Telegraph

“Moves along very smartly, the action is non-stop, the protagonist entertaining enough to hold the attention, and the New Zealand setting provides a dimension of interest. It would be just the thing for a medium-haul flight.”Reviewing The Evidence

“Incredibly, readers believed in the private eye with cricket team ideals. We assumed that Chandler perhaps resembled his hero. He must have been similar, the kind of man who would stand steadfast in a difficult situation. Hard-boiled thrillers are written in a style that suggests tough guys behind the keyboard. Cynical lawyers like George V Higgins remembered the transcripts of interviews with their clients and reproduced it as noir crime. James Ellroy insisted he was authentic because he was honest about seedy sexual obsessions. This need for authenticity spread to other crime fiction. Women authors, like Patricia Cornwell, used their previous experience as pathologists and wrote novels about crime busting medics. Of course, time renders most attempts at authenticity as inadequate. Philip Marlowe is now a male fantasy that embarrasses modern men and those who read ‘Death On Demand’ will afterwards be less susceptible to tales of strong potentially decent men redeemed by a virtuous or potentially virtuous female. James Ellroy may have to re-think his definition of authenticity. Paul Thomas has become addictive to New Zealand readers and this book demonstrates how.” Crime Chronicles

Library Journal
★ 10/01/2013
A husband's offhand remark about hiring a hit man loses its humor when someone offers to take care of the task. The Auckland, New Zealand, case was never solved, and only Maori DS Tito Ihaka suspected the moneyed husband. Ihaka's rough edges and zeal effectively doomed him, and six years ago, he was reassigned to the Wellington area. Now, new revelations indicate that Ihaka's instincts were right; he is brought back to reopen the cold case. Before long, things turn hot as a complicated case involving grifters and shifting identities means more victims will fall. VERDICT New Zealand's irascible cop Tito Ihaka has been MIA since Thomas's last series entry in 1996 (Guerilla Season), and his return pleases on so many levels. Thomas is a past winner of the Ned Kelly Award, and this one looks to be a future nominee as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781908524171
Publisher:
Bitter Lemon Press, Ltd
Publication date:
10/08/2013
Series:
Tito Ihaka Series
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
1,198,989
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Paul Thomas: Paul Thomas, born in the UK in 1951, emigrated , age 3, with his family to New Zealand. He lives in Wellington and is the country’s best known best known crime writer. His novels include Dirty Laundry(aka Old School Tie, 1994),Inside Dope (1995),Guerrilla Season (1996), Final Cut (1999),The Empty Bed (2002) and Sex Crimes (2003). In addition, Thomas has written short stories and screenplays for TV, including Ihaka: Blunt Instrument.

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