The discovery of a skull in high-country New Zealand sets in motion events that peel away the past to disturb the lives of men and women in small towns not used to outside eyes. For too many years their local affairs have been hidden away by time and back roads: a farmer’s missing wife, their daughter the biker chick, a pregnant waitress, the go-to man “stooped as often as not over a truck engine, some farm machinery or a table at the tavern”, the politician with both eyes on the main chance and a dark secret even he has forgotten.
Central to them all is Pete Mackie, the only law back of beyond where sometimes the best way of upholding the law is by bending the rules. But like the towns he serves, not everything about Pete Mackie is what it seems – as rookie radio journalist Sandra Blaine discovers when she ventures off the highway on to gravel roads in search of someone else’s story.
A witty, racy page-turner, Mackie’s Law sees the iconoclastic London-based sportswriter Graeme Wright return to the people and roots of early short stories set in his native New Zealand. It may not be a New Zealand all readers will know but it will certainly be one that many recognise in spite of themselves.