The Wild Card



How big a secret can a small town like Porohiwi have?

The compelling début crime novel from one of Aotearoa’s writing rangatira.

ISBN: 978-1-98-859503-0 Categories: , , , Tags: ,

About the book

Sure thirty years is a long time. Sure the case was closed. Well, never really a case as such. Fifteen-year-old brown girl tops herself, who cares? Turn the page. That bloody notebook, thought Club. God knows what was in it. Who knew that little bitch could even write?

Ruby Palmer has been dealt a rough hand. She was left in a kete at the back door of the Porohiwi Home for Children when she was a baby, and then at seven she discovered that Betty – who stopped the bad stuff happening to Ruby at the Home – had drowned.

Now in her thirties, Ruby needs to find out what really happened to her and Betty at the Home – and her only lead is a notebook that uses the symbols in playing cards to tell a story she doesn’t fully understand. But her investigations set off a chain reaction: a man in a balaclava attacks her and there are break-ins at her apartment and the local theatre where she’s acting in The Importance of Being Earnest. As Ruby goes deeper into the mystery at the heart of the Home, she starts to find answers to questions she hadn’t dared ask.

Published with the assistance of

About the author

Renée ONZM, Ngāti Kahungunu, is one of Aotearoa’s writing rangatira, who turned 90 in 2019. A novelist, poet and playwright, who lives in Ōtaki, she was recently awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Literary Achievement and the Playmarket Award for significant artistic contribution to New Zealand theatre. In 2017 she published her bestselling memoir These Two Hands. The Wild Card is her first crime novel.


Dimensions: 152 x 229 mm
Number of pages: 246
Binding: soft cover

Look inside

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