Russell James has been named “the Godfather of Noir” by Ian Rankin. Russell writes crime novels - about criminals and victims, not the cozy procedural or whodunnit. He is the editor of Great British Fictional Detectives.
If you read Death on Demand, the first in the series about Maori cop Tito Ihaka, I only need tell you that Fallout is just as good.
The big Maori is just as much an outsider, and is just as determined to get his huge mitts on the bad guys – especially since one of the two cases he is investigating concerns the death (murder?) of his own father some years before. The other case seems more straightforward: who strangled an innocent 17-year-old at a high-fliers’ party? Cue big business, top politicos, and a ‘disappeared’ man. Cue cover-up.
Ihaka is a tough no-nonsense cop. As a crim, you’d no more want to face him than you’d want to face the All-Black forwards with the ball in your hands and no one to pass it to. (While the referee had his back turned.)
My only quibble is that the plotting becomes overly complicated and that one of the deaths could only have happened that way on a very dark night. Not even NZ can be that dark. Even when Ihaka is out to get you.