13-27 October, 2022

Keep a secret. Tell a lie. Protect the family. At all costs. A compulsively readable suspense thriller from Ngaio Marsh Award shortlisted author, Nikki Crutchley, which will keep you guessing and reading up until late into the night.

Iluka has been the only home that 18-year-old Ana has ever known. The beautiful wild pine plantation overlooking the Pacific Ocean where her grandfather builds furniture, her aunt runs an artists’ retreat and her uncle tends the land, is paradise, a private idyll safe from the outside world.

But the place holds a violent secret and when a stranger arrives, Ana will need to make a choice: to protect everything – and everyone – she holds dear or tell the truth and destroy it all.

Borrow in Libby Join the discussion

Get the Discussion Guide


Nikki Crutchley lives in beautiful Cambridge, New Zealand with her husband and two girls. She’s been writing on and off her whole life but in the last couple of years decided to get more serious.

After graduating from Waikato University with a Bachelor in Social Sciences, she travelled to the UK where she worked at Oxford University Press. On returning home, she completed a diploma in library and information studies through the Open Polytechnic. From there she worked in libraries in New Zealand, Ireland and the UK, and did a lot of travel in between.

For the past five years, she’s been working as a freelance proofreader and works for Nourish magazine along with proofreading manuscripts, theses and journal articles.

After completing a diploma in creative writing at the New Zealand Institute of Business Studies, Nikki embarked on writing her first book.

While working on Nothing Bad Happens Here, she developed an interest in writing flash fiction (short, short stories.). Nikki has been published in Flash Frontier, Mayhem Literary Journal, Flash Fiction Magazine and have a story in Fresh Ink anthology (published by Cloud Ink Press). She was long-listed and regional winner for her story New Beginnings at National Flash Fiction Day in 2016, and at the 2017 National Flash Fiction Day she had two stories short-listed and was regional winner.

Website Twitter GoodReads Facebook