Every month we feature a different author, publisher or bookseller who has earned the RLK! seal of approval! We will highlight and review their books/company as well as providing author biographies (where available) and publishing information. We hope you enjoy RLK! Spotlight On....

Author Bio:

Paul Thomas was born in the UK and grew up in New Zealand. He graduated from the University of Auckland and subsequently worked in journalism and public relations in Auckland, London, Toulouse and Sydney. He won the Australian Ned Kelly Award for his first book, Dirty Laundry. All of his books have been published internationally to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. A full time writer, Paul has also worked in newspapers and advertising. He lives in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney, Australia with his journalist wife.

Books Published:


Publisher: Random House

Review Source:


Poor Reggie Sparks. It's just not his lucky year.

Having just returned to Australia after being thrown out of France for terrorising cats, Reggie finds himself smack-dab in the middle of the most bloody outbreak of violence in Sydney for decades.

A businessman takes a swan dive off the Sydney Harbour Bridge - not so unusual, you'd think - but he jumps with a suitcase that contains a connection to the death of a young debutante. Another unsavory P.I. (and part-time Peeping Tom) winds up dead with three bullets in the head in a local car park. In his briefcase they find real-life porn photos of certain people who would do anything to make sure the pictures weren't made public. Not to mention the Turf war which explodes that sees one high-flying mafioso being cooked in his own pizza oven.

Yep, this novel has it all!

And poor Reggie is right in the middle of it. Between blackmail, double-cross and more blackmail, between the Sydney Mafia and an even more viscious street gang called The Blood Drinkers (who leave nothing to the imagination), a former SAS psychotic and a maverick street-wise cop called Tito Ihaka.

All in all, this is one of the best thrillers released in Australia for years. Violent, scary, funny and full of twists and great characters - this is a must read for any crime fan who likes their crime fast and bloody. There's many reasons why Paul Thomas won the Australian Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction, and you'll find plenty of them in here.

A must read!


Publisher: Random House

Review Source:


Former cop, Duane Ricketts, made two big mistakes in his life.

The first was being fingered for buying heroin-laced cigarettes. A mistake that would see him languishing in a Thai jail for a couple of months.

His second mistake was to become friendly with Frank Varty.

Varty is apparently the only preson who knows the exact whereabouts of 10kg of high-grade cocaine from an aborted run into New Zealand by boat 10 years ago.

Then, wouldn't you know it, Varty is killed by the partner of a Thai ladyboy and Ricketts is on hand to hear his final words.

And so now Ricketts is off looking for the lost treasure of the notorious Mr Asia syndicate. But he has no idea what he's letting himself in for...

Throw into the plot a body in a spa pool, a rogue CIA agent, an indiscreet diplomat and an ambitious journalist, along with Det Sgt Tito Ihaka and his superior Det Insp. Finbar McGrail, a crooked lawyer, a whole mob of hoods, Varty's family, the actual "original" owner of the drugs, and, much later, a CIA assassin CC Hellicar and you have one hell of a crime thriller with more complicated twists and turns than you can possibly believe!

Inside Dope proves once again why Paul Thomas is being picked up by more and more new readers every day. This novel is tightly plotted, with terrific (if somewhat eccentric) characterisation, and is the kind of book you can read in one sitting. You certainly won't want to put it down!

Based on the notorious "Mr Asia drug sydicate" scandal that broke in the early 1970s and spanned New Zealand, Australia and South-East Asia, Thomas has delivered an hilarious crime novel that is certainly worth the read.

His best yet!


Publisher: Random House

Review Source:


The APA is on the offensive.

First, a loudmouth redneck talkback radio broadcaster, Fred 'the Freckle' Freckleton, is forced to walk the plank from the 15th floor of a building. Then, a crusading journalist gets his neck wrung and a diehard monarchist MP is slowly cooked while his minder is fed to a pitbull terrier.

And it's all the work of the Aotearoa People's Army. The APA has an agenda of their own - and they're going to make sure they follow through with their set plan. No one is going to stop them.

But just who is behind the APA and what are their real motives? Who's really pulling the strings? Maverick cop, and our hero, Tito Ihaka is back once more and he's determined to put a stop to all the guerilla tactics. The counter-terrorism boys think they have the APA under control. But Tito thinks otherwise - and he's right.

But Tito is about to step into something bigger than he dreamed and his very life could be in danger.

Guerilla Season is the sequel to Inside Dope and proves once again that the more Paul Thomas writes, the better he becomes. This is an hilarous novel that speeds along quicker than Fred 'the Freckle' Freckleton's dive head-first into the pavement. Tito continues to grow as a character and really earns a place in the reader's heart and, of course, as we've come to expect from Thomas, we have a nail-biting plot full of violence, gore and dark humor.

Read it in one sitting, or take your time and savour it. Whatever you do, read Guerilla Season - or we'll send the APA after you!


Date of Release: July '99

Publisher: Random House

Review Source:


James Alabaster is a merchant banker on $250,000 a year (not including bonuses). He has a three-storey terrace, investment property, a share portfolio and a Saab turbo. He also has a 21-year-old blonde secretary who prefers if he doesn't use a condom.

He has it all.

And then he gets busted for insider trading.

Now Alabaster makes enough money to just survive by working nights in a Sydney video store. But he's got a new career now - a new reason to live - and that's the beautiful but unobtainable Carla Sully, the wife of one of Australia's richest men.

But then Alabaster sees a side of Sully he never knew. A pornographic film in which Sully stars accidentally falls into his hands.

This is the chance Alabaster has been waiting for. Finally, a reason to contact Sully and let her know about the film...and himself.

But then the other "stars" of the porno begin to die in mysterious circumstances. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Bad luck?

The more time he spends with Sully, the more he learns about the cast and their past lives and the deeper he gets into a world of crooked cops and stand-over men. Where blackmail and betrayal are daily occurances and where sex and death are intricately linked.

Alabaster should drop everything and run, should get out while he can. But Carla Sully is his now, she's within his reach, and he's not letting her go for anything...

Final Cut is the latest novel from Paul Thomas and, without a doubt, his best so far. This is a character driven study and James Alabaster as our hero is sharp and clear, masterly drawn for the reader. There is less humour and more of a feeling of dark, impending doom, with a finale that's a kicker! Thomas proves that noir novels can easily survive the 90s and are far from dead.

This is Paul Thomas at his best. You can't miss this one!


Paul Thomas does not currently have a website.

Where to buy:


For those who order online, try:

Amazon UK!   Buy Laymon & Others Here!   

 RLK! Spotlight On...
Past Features

 October: James Lee Burke, Author Click here to view.
 September: Leisure Books, Publisher Click here to view.
 August: Gerald Seymour, Author Click here to view.
 July: Brian Lumley, Author Click here to view.
 June: Michael Connelly, Author Click here to view.
 May: Stephen Laws, Author Click here to view.
 April: Gemma O'Connor, Author Click here to view.
 March: Simon Clark, Author Click here to view.
 February: Obsidian Books, Publisher Click here to view.
 January: John Case, Author Click here to view.

 A new Feature added monthly so check here often...

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