David Tredinnick’s gritty and impassioned performance injects Peter Temple’s stark, neo-noir novel Shooting Star, set in Melbourne, with a shot of adrenaline in its depiction of protagonist Frank Calder, a former soldier and hostage negotiator summoned by the affluent Carsons to deliver ransom money to the captors of their kidnapped 15-year-old daughter, and who soon realizes that the family’s checkered past may lift the shroud of mystery surrounding this seemingly senseless crime.
Full of razor-sharp, caustic dialogue and complex, morally ambiguous characters, this audiobook will appeal to fans of modern thrillers rooted in the tradition of classic detective fiction.
So a reluctant Frank begins to deal with the kidnappers, and quickly becomes convinced both Carson kidnappings were motivated by something other than money. Over several feverish days, Frank searches for suspects in the web of Carson businesses, deals, marriages, indiscretions and rivalries. And all the while he knows that if his instincts are wrong, the girl will surely die.
With Shooting Star, Australia's premier crime-thriller writer, Peter Temple, is launched into an even bigger league.
©2007 Peter Temple; (P)2009 Bolinda
"In particular, Tredinnick's ability to infuse the characters with unique personalities, coupled with his steady pace, makes the story fly by." (AudioFile)
This is a quality early novel by Temple - not as good as "The Broken Shore" or "Truth", the latter being his undeniable masterpiece to date, this shows Temple's evolution from standard crime mystery writing to a higher standard of crime fiction. Whilst far from perfect, it makes for a very engaging read and has a "cold ring of truth" to its conclusion. Fast-paced, well edited, but in some places a little too convenient or a little too under-developed. Like a James Ellroy novel pre-L.A. Quartet. If you're after the lush descriptive passages of Bryce Courtenay, you will not find it here. But the terse and often darkly comedic tone is highly reminiscent of early hard boiled crime fiction, albeit with an Australian setting, and so if you like that sort of crime fiction, definitely give this a shot.
There are many fine mystery and suspense authors on Audible. I know because over the past couple of years I've listened to lots.
None are better than Peter Temple. The variety of his books, even though mostly set in Victoria, Austrlia is first class, the plots are first class, the dialogue is first class, and his observations of society and culture are thoroughly enjoyable.
Finally I appreciate the dry Australian black humour that permeates the early stages of his novels, somewhat reminiscent of a more subtle Carl Hiasen.
Its an additional pleasure to find the books well read, although I appreciate that others may not find the nuances of the Australian dialect as familiar as they seem to me.
Finishing this book was extremely regrettable and how I wish there were more. Discovering Peter Temple has been one of my great thrills of 2009.
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