Bush Telegraph - 2021-10-11


Much more than another mystery


Before You Knew My Name By Jacqueline Bublitz, Allen & Unwin, $3.99 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. I thought this was just another murder mystery with the cops looking for clues. Boy was I wrong. This is an extraordinary debut novel by New Zealander Bublitz, set in New York and with a dark feel. Some of it is told by the victim, 18-year-old Alice, who arrives in the Big Apple on the bus with $600 and a stolen camera, and a back story that is alarming. The woman who discovers her body, Ruby, the archetypal jogger, is an Australian who has fled a bad relationship with an almost-married man at home. She struggles with how the discovery has affected her, and eventually joins a Death Club — a group of oddballs who meet at bars to discuss death and dying. The connection between Alice and Ruby will eventually solve her murder, but meanwhile enjoy the most superb writing. Lyrical, almost poetic, with characters you’ll grow to love in their oddness. This New Plymouth writer has a stunning talent. — Linda Thompson


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