> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775531319
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 248

My Father's Shadow

A Portrait Of Justice Peter Mahon


Formats & editions


An intimate portrait of Justice Peter Mahon, who headed the Erebus disaster inquiry, written by his son.

An intimate portrait of Justice Peter Mahon, who headed the Erebus plane crash inquiry, written by his son.

Described often as ‘a man for all seasons’, Justice Peter Mahon is perhaps best remembered for his role in the Erebus Inquiry: an inquiry into the worst air disaster in New Zealand’s history. In My Father’s Shadow, his eldest son, artist Sam Mahon, draws a composite portrait of Peter: a rational, moral, astute and complex character, but a father whom the author hardly knew.

In poignant lyrical prose, an expansive story emerges, operatic in scope, of Peter Mahon’s life – through his war years and the Senio offensive, his distinguished legal career, to the insult keenly felt be a proud man when the Court of Appeal questioned his immortal line ‘an orchestrated litany of lies’ – as soldier, lawyer, judge, naturalist, father, colleague, husband. He was at the time of his death ‘one of the ten most admired New Zealanders’.

Artfully woven throughout, the memoir exposes the dynamic and the ongoing legacy between these two strong personalities – the rebellious artist-in the- making, and his tolerant, distant and revered father. Written with a spirited clarity, startling honesty, and humour, My Father’s Shadow is a captivating and extraordinary New Zealand story.

  • Pub date: 1 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9781775531319
  • Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 248

About the Author

Sam Mahon

Sam Mahon is an artist and who lives in North Canterbury in a reconstructed flour mill. He is a painter, sculptor – mostly in bronze – and a printmaker: he’s a superb draughtsman and builds everything from musical instruments to miniature rockets. His first book The Year of the Horse won the Best First Book Award in 2003. This was followed by the much acclaimed The Water Thieves in 2006. His exhibition of portraits ‘Talking Heads’ was shown in Christchurch in 2007, at the COCA Gallery


Related titles