Category Archives: Asian noir

Cover reveal: Gunshine State

Gunshine StateI’m thrilled to be able to show you the cover for my second novel, Gunshine State, out this September from the wonderful folks at 280 Steps.

Gunshine State is a heist thriller set in Melbourne, Queensland and Thailand. Think Richard Stark’s Parker, Garry Disher’s Wyatt, and Wallace Stroby’s Crissa Stone. Add a touch of Surfers Paradise sleaze and a very dangerous stopover in Asia.

Here’s the elevator pitch:

Gary Chance is a former Australian army driver, ex-bouncer and thief. His latest job sees him in Queensland working for Dennis Curry, an aging Surfers Paradise standover man. Curry runs off-site, non-casino poker games, and wants to rob one of his best customers, a high roller called Frederick ‘Freddie’ Gao.

While the job may seem straightforward, Curry’s crew is anything but. Frank Dormer is a secretive former Australian soldier turned private security contractor. Sophia Lekakis is a highly-strung receptionist at the hotel where Gao stays when he visits Surfers. Amber is Curry’s attractive female housemate and part of the lure for Gao. Chance knows he can’t trust anyone, but nothing prepares him for what unfolds when Curry’s plan goes wrong.

The novel has already had some good advance praise from authors I admire with, I hope more to come:

“A tense, fast-moving, vividly-drawn thriller.”
Garry Disher, author of the Wyatt novels

“A lean, mean, hard-boiled knockout.”
David Whish Wilson, author of Line of Sight and Zero at the Bone

Needless to say, I’ll be talking more about Gunshine State in the lead-up to its release.… Read more

Ghost Money now available in paperback & other book related news

GhostMoneyfinalcoverAs we move with terrifying speed towards the end of 2015, I want to hit you all with a few pieces of book related news.

First up, Ghost Money, my crime novel set in nineties Cambodia is now available in hardback from the publisher, Crime Wave Press. A brand spanking new hard copy of the my novel, which is still getting good reviews, will set you back around $14 plus postage, give or take the exchange rate. I mean, really, as the Yuletide season approaches what better present could you give someone?

For those of you who may be new to this, here’s the pitch:

Cambodia, 1996, the long-running Khmer Rouge insurgency is fragmenting, competing factions of the coalition government scrambling to gain the upper hand. Missing in the chaos is businessman Charles Avery. Hired to find him is Vietnamese Australian ex-cop Max Quinlan. 

But Avery has made dangerous enemies and Quinlan is not the only one looking. Teaming up with Heng Sarin, a local journalist, Quinlan’s search takes him from the freewheeling capital Phnom Penh to the battle scarred western borderlands. As the political temperature soars, he is slowly drawn into a mystery that plunges him into the heart of Cambodia’s bloody past.

Ghost Money is a crime novel about Cambodia in the mid-nineties, a broken country, what happens to those trapped between two periods of history, the choices they make, what they do to survive.Read more

Gunshine State, my second novel, to be published in 2016

Been sitting on this news for a while and now I can finally make it public. My second novel, currently titled Gunshine State, has been picked by crime only publisher, 280 Steps. It will be released sometime in the second half of 2016.

Gunshine State is a dark, innovative heist story. The heist story is much neglected in Australian crime fiction and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing one that is hard boiled, intelligent and uniquely Australian. Gunshine State is my attempt to do this. The central character is Gary Chance, a former Australian army truck driver, who has featured in a number of my short stories.

If you want a better idea of what you are in for with Gunshine State, all I can say for now is think Richard Stark’s character Parker, Garry Disher’s Wyatt, and Criss Stone in the books by New Jersey writer, Wallace Stroby. Add a touch of Surfers Paradise sleaze and a lengthy and very dangerous stop over in Asia.

I have heard a lot about 280 Steps from quite a few people and it has all been good. I’m really looking forward to working with them on Gunshine State.

Ghost Money just 99 cents for 24 hours on June 30

GhostMoneyfinalcoverI am a little brain dead tonight as a result of having spent a wonderful weekend in Adelaide as a guest of the South Australian Writers Centre inaugural Crimefest. I’ll be writing about this event more a little later in the week, when I’ve had some sleep.

For now, I just wanted to give readers a heads up that Crime Wave Press, the publisher of my crime novel set in 1990s Cambodia, Ghost Money, will be discounting the Kindle version of the book to 99 cents for 24 hours on June 30.

So, if you have not picked up a copy of the book yet, here is a chance to do so at very little cost.

Australian readers will be able to get the book here.

Those in the US and elsewhere, can do so here.

Ghost Money was first published in the US in 2012 and has recently been republished by the Hong Kong based Crime Wave Press.

Second time around the book is continuing to get good feedback from those who read it. The respected site, My Bookish Ways recently said of the Ghost Money that it ‘is highly recommended for old school and new school noir fans alike, especially for anyone looking for a change of locale.… Read more

Book review: The Cambodian Book of the Dead

TheCambodianBookOfTheDead-144dpiI’ve been meaning to read Tom Vator’s debut novel, The Cambodian Book of the Dead for a while now. I’m glad I finally got around to doing the task, because it’s one hell of a ride. Amusing, horrifying, at times frustrating, always perceptive.

The Cambodian Book of the Dead is not for everyone. I was probably predisposed to the book before I’d read the first page, because of my fondness for crime fiction set in Asia generally and Cambodia in particular, a country I’ve spent a lot of time in and the setting of my own debut crime novel, Ghost Money.

As far as I could tell, The Cambodian Book of the Dead takes place in the early part of last decade. The Khmer Rouge insurgency is over. Pol Pot is dead, murdered by his own lieutenants in one last bout of bloodletting. Cambodia hovers between the civil war wracked basket case it was in the nineties and the must-see tourist destination it is now. Investment is starting to flow in, but things are slow. The ruling elite is still in the early stages of organising the wholesale plunder of the country they are carrying out today.

Maier is the Asia specialist for a top flight German private investigations firm, before that an international correspondent.… Read more