Chad Taylor is the author of the novels Departure Lounge, Electric, Shirker, Heaven and Pack of Lies. He has held the Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship and the Auckland University Literary Fellowship. Heaven was made into a feature film by Miramax and his fiction has been published in several languages. His screenwriting credits include Realiti which was selected for Fantastic Fest 2014. His most recent novel is The Church of John Coltrane. New novel forthcoming.

Departure Lounge

A man obsessed with a lost childhood friend turns to a life of crime to get her back.

"There's so much pleasure and bafflement to be derived from this thriller … that it seems like an afterthought to point out that it's also a fascinating portrait of life in modern-day New Zealand … A fine read and an interesting look at unfamiliar terrain." – Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel DEPARTURE LOUNGE

"Taylor in effect has taken the not-knowing at the mystery genre's core and enshrined it, occupied its amorphous territory and made of it, as in this book's emotional peak, a luminous art." – P.G. Koch, Houston Chronicle Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel DEPARTURE LOUNGE


Sam Usher is a data technician working in a blacked-out city defined by drugs and dreams. He has come close to death once and would like to try it again. When he meets Candy Strange, he gets his chance.

"A rare and refreshing book. Taylor composes a tricky, teasing plot out of the blackness, revealing a gloomy city where sexy ice queens reveal spines tattooed with tiny equations." – Claire Harvey, The Australian Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel ELECTRIC

"The hypnotic pull of Taylor's story lies in the zigzag dance of its forlorn characters, casting a murky, uneasy sense of doom… a book that offers subtle rewards for conoisseurs of entropy noir." – The Guardian Read more …


Robert Marling is on a losing streak. He's a struggling architect with a gambling problem, and a wife who is suing him for divorce. When he meets Heaven, a streetwalker who has visions of the future, his luck begins to change – for better, and for worse. A tale of chance and weirdness on Auckland's K Road, Heaven was made into a feature film by Miramax.

"Deft and economical… Lust, lies and opportunism shape a world where realities are constantly shifting." – Metro. A tale of chance and weirdness on Auckland's K Road, Heaven was made into a feature film by Miramax in 1998, starring Martin Donovan, Karl Urban, Richard Schiff and Joanna Going. Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel HEAVEN

NZ noir author Chad Taylor in California

"Smart, original, surprising and just about as cool as a novel can get" – Washington Post

"Enigmatic noir" – Publishers Weekly

"Effortlessly cool" – GQ

"Accomplished noir… clear and uncluttered" – Time Out

The Church of John Coltrane

A decade after Heaven, Robert Marling has blown it all. Numbed by loss, he ducks his creditors and retreats into the apartment that belonged to his late father. Alone with the dead man's jazz collection, Marling seems to have achieved nothingness. But the silence of the maze-like building is interrupted by the music from a different world.

"Ballade langoureuse [à nouveau situé dans la ville d'Auckland] qui s'interroge au passage sur les nouvelles mïurs musicales, le nouvel opus de Chad Taylor dégage une atmosphère assez unique. Pas de doute, le Néo-Zélandais possède un son bien à lui." – Alexandre Fillon, Livres Hebdo Read more …



Futures broker Ellerslie Penrose stumbles onto the story of a Victorian escape artist and a life that strangely echoes his own.

"Imagine Raymond Chandler filing from New Zealand with a little help from Anne Rice and Jean-Paul Sartre, and you're still not close to imagining the oddity of this weird, wonderful novel … Taylor's structural instincts are so unerring and his tersely elegant language so seductive that the story never once falters - even as it morphs from a murder mystery into an exploration of passion and mortality." – Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, Entertainment Weekly Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel SHIRKER

Pack of Lies

Catrina was attacked; Catrina fell. Catrina knows who did it; Catrina can’t remember. Catrina has a best friend; Catrina is in love. Catrina is helping the police; Catrina is in hiding. Catrina is in crisis; Catrina is fine. This is Catrina’s story. This is not what happened. A coming of age tale set in New Zealand's sunny RotoVegas.

"Wer sich für moderne, zeitgenössische neuseeländische Literatur interessiert, dem sei auf jeden Fall Chad Taylor empfohlen. Ein Studentin wird schwerverletzt in ihrer Wohnung aufgefunden - der Beginn einer bizarren literarischen Reise." – Christhard Läpple, Redaktionsleiter Aspekte, ZDF Read more …

Chad Taylor's novel LUGENSPIELE (PACK OF LIES)

New short stories

End of Night

An REM sleep-deprived entrepreneur hires a novelist to finish his dreams.

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A revolving contract to steal Hokusai's Great Wave pushes a thief to her breaking point. Aurélie is the first part of a previously unpublished 30,000-word noir novella, the sequel being …

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Aurélie II: Head of a Woman

When the art thief's identity is exposed, she must use all her skills to evade her pursuers.

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