Katherine Hayton | 2014 November

November 2014

This morning I once again climbed a hill. I know, will I ever learn?

Once again I piked out before completing half of our old trail. On the bright side my heart rate got really high and my breathing got really laboured. Why’s that the bright side, you ask? Because someone in a gym once told me it was, that’s why.

Yeah, okay you caught me. That’s a total lie. I’ve never stepped inside a gym! Someone who enters gyms came out of one once and told me that.

It got me thinking of an article I’d read years ago. It was about a woman who was stabbed as she was jogging around Nunweek Park. Nasty bit of business. The police said you should never exercise so much that you couldn’t run away.

That’s stayed with me, that has. Often, when I’m walking down Condell Avenue I think of it. I think of it then because that’s when I’m so knackered from walking home that I probably couldn’t run away.

And, out of breath on what’s meant to be a nice morning walk, it buzzed around in the back of my mind like an Aussie fly.

The bright side these days is that I no longer need to worry about this piece of advice. I tried to run for the bus a few weeks back. I hadn’t exercised at all prior to it. Not at all. That’s also a fair description of how my attempt to run worked out. Not at all. Unless the point was to entertain and amuse the bus driver that is, in which case it worked a treat.

It turned out in the end that the woman in Nunweek park stabbed herself. Not a random “truck driver” at all. That’s also a bit of comfort to my strained and aching heart.

No matter how fast you can run, you can’t outrun yourself.

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01 Nov / Kirkus Review

I don’t usually reprint my reviews (if you wanted to see them you could look them up yourself!) but this one is truly the most wonderful thing I’ve ever seen so I’m taking a liberty.


In this novel, a victim-support counselor in New Zealand finds that the case of a missing girl takes a bizarre turn when a self-proclaimed psychic gets involved.

Christine Emmett, who was once a psychiatrist until she “realized how futile the entire field was,” is close to burning out in her volunteer work as a victim-support counselor for the North Christchurch region working (uneasily) with police. She also runs a support group for mothers with sick, missing or dead children; her own young daughter died, though readers don’t learn exactly how until the end. She’s increasingly distant from her husband, Gary, who drinks heavily.

Christine drags herself to her next patient, Rena Sutherland, who woke from a coma to find her young daughter missing. Amid the media glare, a woman, claiming to be a psychic, provides police with valuable information. Meanwhile, one support-group member is falling apart because her daughter’s killer has been released. Could he have taken Rena’s child?

As old crimes and tragedies surface, Christine must confront her own past. In her debut novel, Hayton wisely stays away from exploiting her subject for shock value. Rather than describing the disgusting details of crimes against children, she focuses on her characters and how they cope. Her characters are well-drawn, with believable and often heartbreaking histories, warts and all. The portrayals are multilayered. Christine’s cynicism, for example, is clearly a thin mask for her depression, self-hatred and grief but is also bracingly unsentimental, with a side of gallows humor.

Hayton draws subtle, interesting and fruitful parallels between the Christchurch earthquake of 2011 and emotional recovery as her broken characters work to navigate the twisted streets of their broken city. It’s a study in surviving disaster as much as it is a mystery novel. One episode perhaps parallels too closely a scene in Tom Perotta’s Little Children, but it’s a minor fault.

Taut and engrossing, with a tough humanity.

Isn’t it beautiful? Or is that just me?

BTW I would like to state for the record that although I have seen the movie of Little Children (more than once – it does hold up well to re-watching) I didn’t actually remember the scene referenced even after reading this review. I had to trawl through a synopsis on Wikipedia to pinpoint which scene it was.

However, if you’d like to judge for yourself please avail yourself of this fine opportunity to purchase Found, Near Water on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Fishpond or iBooks.

It’s a great book – if you don’t believe me then read the above!

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