Paul Thomas

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Lucia Zanmonti

Paul Thomas is the author of eight crime novels, a collection of short stories and author/co-author of nine sports books. He has been described as ‘the Godfather of New Zealand crime fiction’ for his series featuring Maori detective Tito Ihaka. He is a regular columnist for the NZ Herald (current affairs) and NZ Listener (sport), and has had short stories and serials published in numerous magazines and newspapers including the NZ Herald, the Sydney Morning Herald and Metro. He has appeared regularly at a variety of national literary events.

Paul’s first novel Old School Tie (1994), caused a considerable stir. The late Nigel Cox described it as ‘as significant a debut as The Bone People – and with jokes.’ Inside Dope and Guerilla Season (1996) followed in quick succession, and together the three novels were a major catalyst of the subsequent flowering of New Zealand crime fiction.

Paul’s second Ihaka novel, Inside Dope (1995), won the Crime Writers’ Association of Australia’s inaugural Ned Kelly award for Crime Novel of the Year. The fourth novel, Death on Demand (2012), won the Ngaio Marsh Award and was UK crime fiction guru Mike Ripley’s 2013 crime novel of the year. Fallout (2014) was shortlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Award. The Ihaka novels have been translated into several languages and published in a number of countries. Paul also wrote the screenplay for the tele-movie Ihaka: Blunt Instrument (2000).

He is about to start the sixth – and possibly last – Ihaka novel which will pick up and resolve the threads running through Death on Demand and Fallout, thus being the final book in a genuine trilogy.



Paul’s website for full list of works and excerpts

Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

Upstart Press author page

NZ Listener interview (Dec, 2013)

New releases by Paul Thomas

Nine Lives (essays)

Published by Upstart Press on November 11, 2021

Bibliography: Paul Thomas



The Ihaka novels:

Fallout (2014)

Death on Demand (2012)

The Ihaka Trilogy (2010)

Guerilla Season (1996)

Inside Dope (1995)

Old School Tie (aka Dirty Laundry, 1994)


Other novels:

Work in Progress (2006)

Sex Crimes (2003)

The Empty Bed (2002)

Final Cut (1999)


[Publishers: New Zealand: Hodder Moa Beckett, Random House, Upstart Press Australia: Reed, Transworld, HarperCollinsOther: Victor Gollancz (UK, Ireland, British Commonwealth), Goldmann (Germany), Bogfabrikken (Denmark), Bitter Lemon Press (UK & USA)]


Creative Nonfiction

Christmas in Rarotonga (with John Wright: Moa, 1990)

Running on Instinct (with John Kirwan: Moa, 1992)

Straight from the Hart (with John Hart: Moa Beckett, 1993)

Change of Hart (with John Hart: Hodder Moa Beckett, 1997)

A Whole New Ball Game (Hodder Moa Beckett, 2003)

Indian Summers (with John Wright: 2006)

Tana Umaga Up Close (with All Black Tana Umaga: 2007)

A Life in Focus (with photographer Peter Bush: 2009)

Union: The Heart of Rugby (2011)



Short stories:

The New Zealand Herald

The Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian Financial Review

Metro, Australian Penthouse

The Eye

Weekly Columns:

New Zealand Herald (current affairs)

New Zealand Listener (sport)

'Character to some extent is much a construction of the reader as it is of the writer.' - Lloyd Jones

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