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This Mortal Boy

Fiona Kidman
Publisher: Gallic Books
1st August

Auckland, 1955. Less than two years ago young Albert ‘Paddy’ Black sailed across the globe from Belfast in search of a better life. Now he stands in a prison cell awaiting trial for murder after pulling a knife at a jukebox in a bar fight. As his desperate mother waits for news of reprieve, Paddy must face a judge and jury unlikely to favour an immigrant and an outsider, as a wave of moral panic sweeps the island nation…

This Mortal Boy is a compelling reimagining of the events that led to one of the last executions in New Zealand. What really happened that night? Was this dark episode in the country’s history more about society’s fear of those who are different than the crime itself? And did Paddy deserve the gallows?

Praise for Fiona Kidman:

‘A fascinating read.’ Red magazine

‘A thrilling tale of adventure and heartbreak.’ The Lady

‘Like Hilary Mantel, she writes with acute observation and attention to detail, getting inside the skin of her characters’ New Zealand Books

‘This is an important book which reminds us of the fragility of youth and how devastatingly lives can be altered by a moment’s action.’ The Australian Women’s Weekly

About the Author

Dame Fiona Kidman is a leading contemporary novelist, short story writer and poet. Her novels include The Infinite Air and All Day at the Movies.

Kidman has won numerous awards, and she has been the recipient of fellowships, grants and other significant honours, as well as being a consistent advocate for New Zealand writers and literature. She is the President of Honour for the New Zealand Book Council, and has been awarded an OBE and a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to literature.

Fiona is campaigning for to have the murder conviction of Albert Black overturned and she hopes to put it in front of New Zealand’s Criminal Cases Review Commission.