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A powerfully realised novel that weaves the past with the present and the real with the imaginary.

A powerfully realised novel that weaves the past with the present and the real with the imaginary.

In Winstone’s imagination, the Kid and his partner ride through the Wild West on the trail of their quarry. In Winstone’s actual life, he’s had to abandon his 'partner' and is hiding out in the tough landscape of Central Otago. What has this boy run from, and how will the resilient and engaging twelve-year-old survive?

This moving, inventive and hard-hitting novel will remain with you long after you have finished the last page.

'Her talent with prose is far reaching; her ability to pluck a clever phrase from a seemingly inexhaustible well of fluid imagination quite stunning.' - Michael Larsen, Weekend Herald

Longlisted for the Ngaio Marsh Book Awards: 'An unusually subtle treatment of crime . . . Brilliantly paced and plotted, very seriously discomforting reading. A psychological thriller . . . a ripper.'


An absolute standout, though be warned, it will haunt you for days afterwards . . . this deserves to become a New Zealand classic.

Catherine Robertson, NZ Listener

This beautifully written novel will leave you quietly in despair. The sad and tragic tale of Winstone is told completely from his point of view and through his imagination. . . . I recommend this novel to senior school students, especially those who using the theme "family violence or dysfunction" as their "Connection" for NCEA English.

Elisabeth Morrow, Bay of Plenty Times

Tanya Moir’s third novel, The Legend of Winstone Blackhat, skillfully weaves together the story of a young social outcast with the wide open spaces of a John Wayne-style Western to create a novel that is lyrical and deeply felt. . . . As the novel’s narrative threads intertwine, the character of Winstone comes into focus. He’s totally believable . . . We grow to understand Winstone so well that by the time we reach the climax of the novel, that climax is utterly tragic, and also totally inevitable. . . . This is a novel that will linger with you for a long time.

Feby Idrus, Booksellers NZ blog site

a measured, controlled tone throughout this beautifully written book

Paul Little, North and South

When an author manages to get inside the head of a 12-year-old boy and carry you along so you can't wait to turn the next page, that's the most skilful writing of all. Tanya Moir does write beautifully. Her similes and her occasional stream of consciousness as Winstone negotiates his way out of a constant run of tricky situations seem just right; her language sometimes stops you in your tracks and makes you want to read a passage all over again, simply to appreciate the wordplay.

Nicky Pellegrino, Herald on Sunday

. . . the dazzling range of Moir's facility with prose is fully on display . . . This is a wonderful novel, but bleak as the Maniototo in full snow.

John McCrystal, NZ Books

This is a story that you may wish you didn’t know; but it’s a book that you will be glad you read. . . . This is a terrific book of a terrible tale. Tanya Moir walks a fine line with her story-telling here and when you watch anyone on a tight rope it is an exhilarating experience of fear and surprise.

Gillian Torckler, http://www.nzbooklovers.co.nz/book-reviews/general-fiction/the-legend-of-winstone-blackhat-by-tanya-moir/

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    March 6, 2015

    RHNZ Vintage

    240 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    March 6, 2015

    RHNZ Adult ebooks

    240 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • International Dublin Literary Award
    Dublin Literary Award

Also by Tanya Moir