Category Archives: Mateguas Island

Book Review: Hounds of the Underworld by Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts

I loved this book. Set in New Zealand at a time somewhere in the future, it begins with a crime scene.

Penny (AKA Pandora) is a forensic scientist and has just started her own CSI lab. This particular crime scene is the first case she’s called in on. Chauffeured there by her brother, Matiu, she arrives to find a warehouse, the door of which was locked from the inside. The walls are painted black, and, sitting on the floor, in the middle, is a carved bowl containing what looks like blood. What is conspicuously missing is the person who locked the door or the body of that person. Is this a murder scene? A suicide? Or, possibly, could it be the site of some sort of ritual sacrifice? We must read on to find out.

While Penny speaks with the officer in charge, Matiu, who ‘sees things in the shadows,’ is strangely drawn to the bowl and, despite the fact that the area is cordoned off, steps inside and picks it up, spilling its contents. Matiu, we later find out, has other issues. An ex-con, he has what Penny believes is an imaginary friend, Makere. But is Makere a friend and wholly imaginary? Again, we must read on to find out.

This novel is a fast-paced page-turner. The two main characters, Penny and Matiu, are beautifully drawn, complex, and, through their interactions with each other, the reader can sense a strong bond. I was fully invested in both of their fates as well as the outcome of the story.

Highly recommended for those who love mystery tinged with the paranormal. I look forward, with great anticipation, to reading the second book in the series.