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Red Herring

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  51 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Murder, political intrigue, bent cops and the fate of a nation - a thriller set in the murky underworld of 1951 New Zealand.

A man overboard, a murder and a lot of loose ends ...

In Auckland 1951 the workers and the government are heading for bloody confrontation and the waterfront is the frontline. But this is a war with more than two sides and nothing is what it seems.

Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 28th 2016 by Harper Collins New Zealand
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Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
I thought back across the books I had read so far this year and realised I had not read a book from a NZ author. I picked up Red Herring a 2016 NZ novel by a first time local author in an effort to redress the balance.
I immediately enjoyed the rare pleasure of reading about places I know and actually live close to, it was fun to take tea and Asparagus rolls in 1950s Smith and Caughey's for example.
This seemed a thinly plotted crime/ historical novel with plenty of shady characters and a war-bat
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Historical crime fiction with a political basis, Jonothan Cullinane's RED HERRING is set in 1950's Auckland during a time of confrontation between workers and the government. Based on the waterfront it's fascinating how this sort of pitched battle resonates in difficult places, across different decades. At that time the external threat was Communism, the battleground New Zealand's place in the world - especially as a reliable supplier of farm products "home" to England, still in the thralls of p ...more
Craig Sisterson
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, new-zealand
Kiwi filmmaker Cullinane blends mystery and local history in this terrific debut novel. Readers are plunged headlong into postwar Aotearoa, where the politics of the day are being played out in clashes between unions and business interests on the waterfront.

The shadow of war, with its death and deprivation, still lingers. A growing spectre of Communism domino-ing it's way down through Asia looms. New Zealand may be small and far away, but plenty of power brokers believe the 'land of milk and hon
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Interesting topic but I would have liked more depth in both the story and the characters. Also as a Rotorua local I was disappointed to see an incorrect place name used with regards to the reference to penny divers - I'm fairly certain the book is referring to Whakarewarewa.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
The year is 1951, New Zealand is recovering from two world –wars, but there is unrest on the Auckland waterfront. Like the rest of the world the country has concerns with the rise of communism, stirring workers into confrontation with the Government.
Wool and meat destined for Great Britain will sit on the wharves if the dispute escalates and business leaders are anxious the arguments are settled so this does not happen.
It is an era in New Zealand history many do not remember and although I was o
Keith Fenwick
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book set during the New Zealand watersider's strike in the early 50's. The author has done a huge amount of research into what life was like during that period and has cleverly woven some well known figures of the day into the plot. This was a time when unions flexed their muscles and the two world wars still loomed large in the consciousness of the nation. England was still home, but this was also the time when a gradual sense of what it meant to be a New Zealander was bei ...more
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A rattling good tale of internecine politics, fraud and murder!

Jonny Molloy is a private detective in Auckland in 1951. Set against the backdrop of the notorious Wharfies Strike, Cullinane neatly weaves in real characters from the time, anti-Communist hysteria and partisan agendas.

Molloy is hired by an insurance investigator to track down a supposedly dead man. Unluckily for Molloy, the "dead man" is a major player in one of the trade unions fighting both the government and the other unions. U
Emma Bainbridge
May 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was really excited after reading the blurb, but unfortunately this book was a bit of a let-down for me. It felt as though I was just waiting for the story to get exciting, for the big things to happen, but they never did. From an historical point of view it was interesting to mentally follow the characters through the streets of Auckland (where I currently live), but I could have done without the dull (and often irrelevant) descriptions of politicians and NZ bigwigs of the time. Also, despite ...more
Yvonne Learmonth
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. As an Aucklander born and bred in 1951 it was my town, my city and my history. A lot of the landmarks I recognised from my childhood. Loved the the history of the strike , the machinations behind the scenes, the connections to the Irish. Reasonably well written and a a strong plot. Excellent.
Jonathan Kobewka
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Great to read local fiction. Enjoyable book not my normal reading choice.
Suzanne Zeitouni
Mar 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Picked this up in New Zealand. It features a private investigator in Auckland. Not bad for the authors first attempt.
Denise Skilton
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had trouble deciding whether our author was influenced by the detective writer of the fifties, Carter Brown or our own historian, the late Michael King. Many characters come and go, some from the author’s imagination, some germane to the plot, some superfluous.
Our two main character, Walsh and Molloy differ greatly, but in both cases I found it hard to get a good grip on their personalities with some of the peripheral folk, such as Sunny, gettin
Cathy Cole
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
Red Herring harkens back to the golden days of hardboiled private investigators, with its clipped prose, gangsters, Communists, and fisticuffs. It is a genre that I've never cared much for, but Cullinane brings the time period and setting to life. For me, this was the best part of the book because none of the characters lit a spark in me. However, if you like handsome, laconic P.I.s and beautiful, feisty reporters in a pitch perfect setting, give this a try. I bet you'll enjoy it!
Nathaniel Otley
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Apr 30, 2017
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Mar 19, 2017
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Nov 14, 2017
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May 28, 2017
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