‘Busted Again!' is another great ripper of a book from the mind and experiences of New Zealand's leading private investigator Ron McQuilter.
Following the success of his first book ‘Busted' which sold out three times, he was asked to write a follow-up.
Now ‘Busted Again!' is published, Sunlive has created a podcast where Ron describes his life as a private investigator, and shares some of his stories and snippets from his latest book. See the podcast at: https://www.sunlive.co.nz/busted-again.html
Extortion, fraud, insurance scams and workplace theft are just some of the intriguing stories in ‘Busted Again!' as Ron tells more stories of the incredible New Zealand cases in which he has been involved with.
Why was Ron targeted to be arrested in one of NZ's biggest film piracy cases? What happened when a crank call was, in fact, a billionaire needing Ron's help?
Ron McQuilter. Photo: John Borren.
Outwitting insurance scam artists, uncovering artful fraudsters, or clicking photos of thieves while camouflaged by a ghillie suit are all part of the role for Ron.
He is a career investigator, brought up in the 'hard” part of Glasgow. Falling in love with a Kiwi girl, Ron immigrated to New Zealand in 1983.
He decided to write his first book about his role, telling stories from his own experience as a private investigator, so that people would know what it is that a PI actually does.
'I wrote the book because I have a granddaughter and everyone is always saying: ‘There's lots of stories, you should write a book'.”
Ron thought he'd get it bound with a nice cover for the family.
'But me being me, when I do something, I like to do it well, so I phoned an editor to make sure it's okay.”
His editor pitched it to New Holland, which published it; now they've published his second book, again with each chapter a story within itself, perfect for an enjoyable read.
Ron McQuilter's second book: 'Busted again!'. Photo: SunLive.
‘Aladdin's Cave', ‘Love and Money', ‘Baiting the honey trap' and ‘Hooking a pirate' are just some of the chapter titles, enticing the reader to dive in and feed on the tantalising tales.
'I never dreamt there would be a second book until I heard the feedback,” says Ron.
He says that people love that his assignments turn out to be nearly crazier than fiction.
In his first book, he recounts how one artful scammer flew into New Zealand, opened a liquor company with premises, and ordered lots of booze.
"He didn't get to sell it as I caught him in the nick of time only days before it would have been sold through dodgy outlets and he would have left the country before paying for the supplies or paying the landlord.
'People think these scams up,” says Ron, who has his ABC motto ‘Assume nothing, Believe nobody, Check everything'.
During a 40-plus year career in which he's resolved thousands of cases and founded his company Paragon Investigations, he became what he calls a ‘Grey Man' – someone in the middle who doesn't take sides.
'Some clients don't get this, but I'm very clear that my role as private investigator is to be a seeker of the truth, nothing else.”
He says crooks are cunning, evil, heartless creatures.
'To catch them takes a special kind of person, someone who fears nothing and no-one, someone who can walk that grey line between good and bad while trying to make a dollar.”
Ron McQuilter. Photo: John Borren.
The chapters in ‘Busted Again' span several decades of cases, ranging from corporate espionage and theft, dealing with informants, surveillance, ruthless obsession in the pursuit of sunken treasure, the search for home X-rated movies and tracking down the pirates who tried to wreck NZ's burgeoning film industry.
His pursuit of the truth is relentless, and his background places him in good stead to survive street gangs and the mean hard men and women that he crosses paths with.
'Being brought up in Glasgow built a resilience and integrity that has stood me well when dealing with the New Zealand crime scene,” says Ron.
'To be a successful PI, you need to be able to think outside the box. I look at what's over an obstacle, to what's beyond a problem. The idea is to take yourself from the solution back to the problem, not the other way around.”
Ron is chair of the NZ Institute of Professional Investigators, which started in the late-1980s as the NZ Institute of Private Investigators.
'In the old days 99 per cent of PIs were ex-Police but now with times changing anyone can be a PI because we do different types of work not just Police-type work. We are the industry body for private investigators but some members of the institute are also professional investigators who work for agencies or companies like insurance.”
Introducing readers to the real world of a private investigation, Ron's stories in this second book cover the entire spectrum of work a PI in New Zealand might undertake. The stories are simply told, some with a mild wryness, but unflinchingly honest, honing in on the inner strength that is at the heart of who Ron is. They are all based on actual cases he's worked on either alone or with a team of trusted colleagues, each of whom brought their own areas of specialist expertise and experience. You are compelled to read them over again, because while uncovering the callousness of criminals, Ron's stories are uplifting, refreshingly imparting a sense of honour, ethics and integrity.
‘Busted Again!' by Ron McQuilter is available from Whitcoulls and Paper Plus.