A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn't ring any bells for Jack Irish. Life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems: His beloved football team continues to lose, the odds on his latest plunge at the track seem far too long, and he's still cooking for one. When Danny turns up dead, Jack is forced to take a walk back into the dark and dangerous past.With suspenseful prose and black humor, Peter Temple builds an unforgettable character in Jack Irish and brings the reader on a journey that is as intelligent as it is exciting.About the AuthorBorn in South Africa, Peter Temple is one of Australia's most acclaimed writers, and has worked as a journalist, magazine editor, and teacher. He is the author of eight novels, four of which have received the Ned Kelly Award for crime fiction. Bad Debts and Black Tide are the introductory titles in his celebrated Jack Irish series.
Australian Jack Irish--ex-lawyer and sometime debt collector, cabinetmaker and barfly--gets a double introduction as MacAdam/Cage releases his first two adventures (number two is Black Tide) this month. Jack's a gumshoe in classic hard-boiled style: there's his clipped, black-humor dialogue, his hard-drinking past and his sad backstory (his wife was murdered by one of his clients). When Jack gets a desperate message from Danny McKillop, whom he defended years before on a hit-and-run charge "at the beginning of the forgotten zone, the year or so I spent drunk," he takes a while to call him back. When he does, Danny, who was fresh out of prison, is dead. Jack's guilt fuels his ensuing search for the truth about Danny's murder. The main plot, which has to do with a crooked land development deal, is overly complicated, but solid subplots--one concerning a romance, another about a horseracing scheme--keep the pages flipping. The engaging Jack and his friends are absolutely original and unfailingly amusing, and figuring out their speech patterns is great fun, even in its difficulty ("We'll have to get on the Drizas, motor out to the bush next week. Suit, Jack?"). Readers will take to this series like a thirsty man to strong drink and bang the bar for another round. (Nov.)
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M P Publishing
October 25, 2005
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