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The Manger, the Mikdash and the Mosque


1975: Former detective and spy-catcher Dan Delaney and his West Auckland family are on a visit to the Holy Land which goes horribly wrong from the moment they land at Ben-Gurion Airport. A plot is underway to desecrate the most sacred sites and incite conflict between the three great religions whose worship centres on a small area of inner Jerusalem. The Israeli authorities are determined at any cost to prevent another terrorist outrage such as that at Ben-Gurion Airport concourse a few years before, or worse, the recent surprise Yom Kippur attack that threatened the nation’s survival. Old enemies have put Delaney’s family in the crosshairs of their planned outrages. This is the fifth Dan Delaney mystery.  Roger Hall: ‘Cracking yarn.’ Fiona Kidman: ‘A vivid inside view of Israel as well as rattling along with a fast-paced crime story.’ Graeme Lay: ‘The tautly structured plot of this thriller grips the reader from the first to the final page. Set in the so-called Holy Land, the novel’s characters and themes are as meaningful today as they were during the 1970s setting. Jerusalem – spiritual home to Jews, Moslems and Christians – is vividly evoked and forms a vibrant backdrop to the conflicts and tribulations of the Delaney family.’ Paperback NZ$29.95 from publisher or bookshops, ebook NZ$7.50 from www.mebooks.co.nz – or from Amazon.

The Manger, the Mikdash and the Mosque2020-05-14T15:10:54+12:00

Death of an Agent


Easter 1965: the fiery start to protests against New Zealand troops in Vietnam Ru Patterson, the country’s leading broadcaster, is organizing protests against President Johnson’s envoy Henry Cabot Lodge, in Wellington to pressure New Zealand to send troops to Vietnam. Dan Delaney is first on the scene of a young naked woman dead in a hot tub and Ru unconscious beside her. Dan interferes with evidence to protect his friend. The NZ Security Intelligence Service continues the deceased agent’s attempts to sideline Patterson and infiltrate students threatening violence, including an anarchist attracted to arson. Delaney is dragooned into helping the authorities, threatening his personal relationships with Ru and his daughter Hinemoa, Dan’s goddaughter. Hine is a headstrong young drama student mixed up in marijuana trafficking and in mad, crazy love with an older student who treats her no better than the parts they play, Hamlet and Ophelia. With Ru sidelined, Dan is well aware of his duty of care. Delaney is caught up in gang and police threats against Hine, a police raid on a suspected marijuana dealer, an SIS interrogation, the planting of an incendiary device in a student theatre, an unexpected encounter with Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, student confrontation at Lodge’s airport arrival and an incendiary incident at Parliament, with Special Task Force marksmen surrounding the building. The stability of the ANZUS alliance and Dan’s family life depend on the outcome. Murray Gray, Founding Director, Going West Books & Writers’ Festival, said of the first three Dan Delaney stories: ‘McGill’s trilogy of local thrillers are all pacy novels that are informed by honest and astute social histories. He imagines political incidents and crafts satisfying narrative action around them that opens up an alternative [...]

Death of an Agent2019-05-09T15:38:25+12:00

On a Bodgie Bike


Eighth Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Steal Matt Delaney and his mate Ante Vukovich steal a precious religious vessel and in the course of the burglary a man is killed, setting in motion personal and political mayhem. It is 1955 and they just want to be milk-bar cowboys against the squares and their suffocating rules banning unmarried sex and excessive speed and anything worth doing. Matt’s uncle Dan Delaney is out of the police and in a dead-end job when Matt’s alcoholic mother begs Dan to sort out a charge of murder against her son. They live in what is called West Auckland’s Dallie Valley, Ante is Dalmatian and his Croatian relation has arrived to reclaim the religious icon that could unite his homeland challenge to Yugoslav communist rule. Dan Delaney’s only ally against corrupt and brutal police is an ex-Commissioner of Police assisting the National Government clean up the police and establish a separate security intelligence service. This is the third outing for former detective and spy catcher Dan Delaney. In The Death Ray Debacle Delaney thwarts a 1935 plot to kidnap a New Zealand scientist who invented what we now call radar and lasers. ‘A fast-paced action spy story … builds to a great climactic finish. If this is ever made into a film the director will need not look any further for an accurate chronicle.’ Tim Gruar, Booksellers NZ In The Plot to Kill Peter Fraser Delaney thwarts a 1945 assassination plot to kill the prime minister. ‘The plot unfolds with twists, turns and lots of action … What I really loved about this book is th