Mickey Franklin was funny and clever and dangerous. Not anymore, now that a mysterious and beautiful sculptor named Sarah Longmore is accused of shooting him five times. Jack Irish - gambler, cook and cabinet-maker, finder of people who don't want to be found - gets the job of hunting for clues that might save her. In a rainy autumn, with Jack's old flame Linda Hillier on a plane to London, the Saints about to front another season and legendary jockey Harry Strang in pursuit of a dark horse, it's a tricky task. By the time Jack pieces together the strange events that led to Mickey's death, he's in a world of shady deals and sexual secrets and untimely death.
©2003 Peter Temple (P)2004 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Compulsively readable." (The Sun Herald)
This is the fourth of the Jack Irish thrillers. Set in Melbourne, Peter Temple paints a picture of the city and it's characters. The dialogue is carefully rationed, with no unnecessary padding or self serving descriptive white noise.
This is a carefully thought out thriller and a fantastic listen. Highly recommended.
Being a little old lady, sometimes bad language does deter me. Let us say that if the F and C words were omitted from the writer's vocabulary the book would be a hood hour and a half shorter (probably no bad thing). The novel definitely demonstrates the corrupt seedy side of Australia - bogan to the core (most Aussies I know don't talk like that). The narrator did a good job though. This was my second Peter Temple, don't think my ears could cope with any more.
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
All 4 novels of the Jack Irish stories have won this award either as shared 'best novel' or 'best novel'.. His later novels 'Truth' and 'Broken Shore' went on to win the highly coveted Miles Franklin Award (and other awards too).
One has to smile at the escape from a fate almost as bad it comes,. to go on to the 'other games' at the track with a rescued killer racehorse. Well Jack Irish is a hero after all, and this is fiction, He may be bruised and badly shaken and still possess all too human foibles and peccadillos and it is these that bring him back.to being an almost normal bloke.
If you have not met Jack before I would suggest listening to the earlier stories in this series because many of the notable characters are introduced and fleshed out there. The ongoing stories include Jack's friends, contacts, neighnours and mates who are in his life. It is with these friends that much of the funny repartee is expressed.
Without knowing the characters it would be too easy to get lost with the names or their relevance to the story.. Some are incidental to the major plot, while others are more involved. Cabinet making, like the track is very much part of his life.
Not a lot of fluff, this story requires listening and is better taken slowly or you could miss very important details, Like Temple's other novels in the series, it paints a fictional picture, not too far from the truth, of Melbourne and the bad boys. It still rains a lot.
There is a white dog in this story though why it becomes the title is a bit of a mystery to me.
(There is a little bit of kids magic, used by parents to keep children quiet in the car about having to cross your fingers and not talk if you see a white horse, and keep them crossed and stay zipped until you see a black dog.) Maybe dogs are a motif for Jack Irish stories. Maybe it is like 'the last straw' and maybe I have just missed something.
Marco Chiappi is spot on as narrator and makes this a very good listen.
'Australian' idiom and humour may be lost on some listeners.
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