>Burial by Neil Cross



Opening line: “The doorbell rang.”

Eleven years ago, at a Christmas party, Nathan meets a young woman, Elise Fox, when he was at the brink of breaking with his girlfriend at that time. Elise and Nathan together with an old acquaintance of Nathan, Bob Marrow, leave the party. But things turn terribly wild and Elise dies. Neither Nathan nor Bob can think straight due to the amount of alcohol and drugs that they have consumed. Finally they decide to bury Elise’s corpse, promising never to see each other again. Elise was reported missing, her body was not found and nobody was charged. But now Bob is back with some terrifying news that threatens to destroy everything Nathan has built since then.

Burial is a compulsive psychological thriller, very well written and with a tense and creepy argument. Enjoyable is not the right word to be applied to this book, maybe disturbing is much more adequate but I’ve certainly like it and I’m glad I’ve read it.    

Neil Cross was born in Bristol in 1969. He lived in Edinburgh, Brighton, Leeds and London before settling down. He is the author of several novels including Always the Sun, Burial and Captured as well as the bestselling memoir Heartland. He was lead scriptwriter for the acclaimed series 6 and series 7 of the BBC spy drama series Spooks and is the creator of the forthcoming BBC crime thriller Luther, which is scheduled to appear on BBC1 in 2010, starring Idris Elba. Following the British publication of Captured in January 2010, he is working on his next novel and continues to write for the screen. He lives in New Zealand with his wife and two sons.

Burial has been short-listed for the Ngaio Marsh Award, New Zealand’s first ever crime novel award. The winner was scheduled to be announced this coming Friday during the 2010 The Press Christchurch Writer’s Festival. Unfortunately the Festival has been officially cancelled following the earthquake and the aftershocks that have devastated Christchurch since last Saturday. For more details see Craig Sisterson’s blog Crime Watch. My sympathies goes to residents and to everyone involved in this event.   

Burial has been reviewed by Maxine at Euro Crime, Reading Matters, Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise, It’s a crime (or a mystery…), Craig at Crime Watch,  

Neil Cross 

Simon & Schuster

Author: Neil Cross

Title: Burial

Simon & Schuster, 2009

Number of pages: 292

ISBN: 978-0-7432-3141-1

>Inaugural Ngaio Marsh Award – Finalist Announced


Just read in Crime Time that the three finalist are:

Cut & Run by Alix Bosco (Penguin);

Burial by Neil Cross (Simon & Schuster); and

Containment by Vanda Symon (Penguin).

The international judges said Cut & Run was "complex and suspenseful" and had "scenes and incidents which are jaw-droopingly good", that Burial "maintained the tension and the atmosphere from beginning to end, keeping the atmosphere creepy", and that Containment had "an attractive series heroine (feisty but vulnerable)" while starting with a "superb" opening scene that by itself would make the judge "want to read more Vanda Symon".

I have received recently Burial and expect to receive soon Cut & Run and Containment, however I might not be on time to finish all three before the final announcement is made at the upcoming The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival in September. 

Dame Ngaio Marsh Award

Kiwi Thanks to Craig Sisterson’s  excellent blog Crime Watch I’m starting to know more about crime fiction writers in New Zealand. I wish I have his capacity to carry out a similar task for Spanish crime fiction, covering Spain and Latin-American countries.

I’m planning to read more Kiwi crime fiction in the coming months. These titles are a good place to start. Burial by Neil Cross. Cut and Run by Alix Bosco. Access Road by Maurice Gee. Bold Blood by Lindy Kelly. Containment by Vanda Symon. So far I have read only one book, Overkill by Vanda Symon and I have Cemetery Lake by Paul Cleave in my TBR pile; my third Australasia book for the Global Reading Challenge.

Thanks to Craig entrepreneurial skills New Zealand has recently created a new crime fiction Award name after Dame Ngaio Marsh. The winner will be announced on Friday September 10 at Christchurch Writers Festival.

Please also note that following to my previous post (amended) Craig Sisterson sent the following clarification note:

Just one small point of clarification – the books in the photo aren’t the officially shortlist – they’re more of an unofficial longlist of books the international judges were considering (the Kiwi judges may have read some others as well, like Michael Green’s BLOOD BOND and Dorothy Fowler’s WHAT REMAINS BEHIND etc)… there will be an official 3-book shortlist announced in the leadup to the festival. It would be great if you could just amend your post slightly so there isn’t any confusion… because not all of those books will be on the official shortlist…