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The Ihaka Trilogy
Publisher:Hachette New Zealand Ltd
Old School Tie (aka Dirty Laundry), Inside Dope, and Guerilla Season are a trilogy of New Zealand-based comic crime thrillers by Paul Thomas. Old School Tie was published by Moa Becket in 1994, Inside Dope by Hodder Moa Beckett in 1995, and Guerilla Season by Hodder Moa Beckett in 1996. In Australia all three were published by Mandarin (an imprint of Reed, subsequently acquired by Random House), and in the UK and Ireland by Vista, an imprint of the Cassell Group. They were also published in translation in Germany and Denmark. Inside Dope won the inaugural Ned Kelly Award presented by the Crime Writers' Association of Australia for best crime novel of the year. The common thread in the three books is the character of the maverick Maori cop Tito Ihaka, a detective sergeant in the Auckland CID. Despite treading on numerous toes and breaking most of the rules in the book (and thanks in part to the indulgence of his boss, the dour Ulsterman Finbar McGrail), Ihaka eventually gets his man - and sometimes his woman.As well as incorporating elements of the New Zealand underworld such as Maori gangs and the Karangahape Road vice scene, the Ihaka novels also have a significant international dimension, featuring characters good and bad from various intelligence agencies and organised crime groups and locations ranging from Bangkok to Washington. Old School Tie is about the unlocking of a dark 25-year-old secret relating to a teenage girl's mysterious suicide at a private school ball. Freelance journalist Reggie Sparks' investigation spills over into an underworld turf war involving the Sydney mafia and a ferocious Maori gang, the Blood Drinkers. Inside Dope involves a race for the lost treasure of the Mr Asia drug syndicate which attracts the attention of a rogue American narcotics agent and the CIA, while Guerilla Season pits Ihaka against a shadowy and sinister terrorist group in a case which turns out to have links to the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior. The character of Ihaka was played by Temuera Morrison in the Paul Thomas-scripted 1999 telemovie Ihaka: Blunt Instrument.
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