|Cry of the Taniwha (Harper Collins, 2009)|
The first two chapters outline the historical crime but the rest of the narrative deals with the present including the tourists and the street gangs. Matt befriends Juzza, a youth determined to join a gang and Eve, an Aussie with a talent for research. The character of Juzza is well drawn as it's hard to determine where his loyalties lie. There is also a revered heron who takes part in the story.
I think anyone who enjoys a mystery would like this novel. The pace is steady and the tension climbs well to the resolution. There is even a surprise ending...
This book is probably too easy for PSSC students but it's still a great experience. It was shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards.