Winner of the 2021 Michael Gifkins Prize, this thrilling debut unravels a series of mysterious child abductions in a small New Zealand town.
Masterton isn't a big town. The community's tight, if not always harmonious. So when a child goes missing it's a big deal for everyone. And when a second kid disappears, the whole town's holding their own children that little bit tighter.
Lorraine doesn't have kids, but she has a nephew. She's holding him a bit tighter, too, because she works for the police, and she knows they don't have any idea.
Lo's not a cop, she's a records clerk. She sits out back among the piles of paper, making connections, remembering things. Working things out that the actual cops don't want to hear about.
Until the new investigator, Hayes, arrives from Wellington, and realises Lo's the only person there with answers to any of his questions. Which is just as well-because the clock is running down for the children of the town.
Both a nail-biting thriller and a beautifully written, acutely observed portrait of a community, Paper Cage is the prize-winning debut from young New Zealand novelist Tom Baragwanath.