Nick Chester is a man in hiding. After a long undercover operation where he helped to put away a major crime lord in the UK, he has changed his name and with his wife Vanessa and son Paul moved to work at a small town police station in the Marlborough Sound region of New Zealand. Life is generally peaceful there, with the worst crimes being speeding and stealing food. However, some young boys have been abducted and murdered and Nick has to find the sexual predator in their midst. His investigations are further complicated when one of the criminal gang Nick helped to expose has found where he and his family are hiding.
I enjoyed the setting of this novel in the beautiful NZ wilderness and the influence of Maori culture on the town and policing practices. There were some interesting Maori characters involved - Nick's police partner Latifa, the two dodgy Maori guys who rent a shack on Nick's property, Denzel the local youthful larrikin and his Uncle Walter who tries to keep the extended family in check. Environmental concerns about excessive logging stripping the landscape is also an issue raised by the novel in the form of the local millionaire, McCormack who doesn't care that his logging business is damaging his neighbours properties. As well as the rape and murder of young boys (fortunately not described in detail), there are also several violent deaths as the murderer tries to cover his tracks so this novel won't be for everyone. There is also a lot of humour to lighten the atmosphere and a nail biting conclusion.