Author(s): Ben Atkins
A compelling noir novel, set in the 1930s, with echoes of Chandler while also foreshadowing the ills of contemporary society. In a city of illusive agendas, it's hard to find the truth. It's harder still to find what's right. Max Fontana is a Depression-era bootlegger in America. Someone is trying to destroy his lucrative business, and so our atypical anti-hero sets off into the night to find out what's going on. The city is saturated with criminal and political extremism, can he trust anyone? Place and narrative-style are just as much characters in this evocative novel by an astonishingly talented teenager.
Ben Atkins completed the first draft of his first novel aged only seventeen, and yet writes with the maturity of a forty year old. He is a student of Political Studies and Film and Media Studies at Auckland University. He has a deep interest in how politics permeates and defines society. This tied in with his passion for mid-20th century crime fiction, resulting in Drowning City: 'When I was in high school, the ethical and ideological concerns of the Great Depression struck me as a fascinating complement to those of organized crime. The process of writing this book developed alongside a student's struggle to comprehend the illusions that constitute society.' Ben intends to continue writing fiction alongside his growing interest in film and screenwriting.