Peter Corris never fails to deliver with a new story in the Cliff Hardy series. “That Empty Feeling” is now number forty one in a trail that covers several decades.
Given that Cliff is now getting on in years, “That Empty Feeling” adopts a new literary technique. It’s a flashback to the 1980s; a time when a younger Cliff cut his teeth in the PI trade. It’s a world where investigating techniques are very different. No internet, no mobile phones, more leg work required and the most cutting edge device employed is a fax. How time marches on.
“That Empty Feeling” sees Cliff working a case for Barry Bartlett who would possibly be described in Sydney vernacular as “colourful”. Barry is involved in all sorts of dodgy deals which Cliff largely manages to resolve, but not before encountering a new love interest and personal tragedy. Cliff’s life runs the gamut of events and emotions.
Of course, as is always the case, the hidden character in this tale is Sydney itself. The harbour city serves as a wonderful backdrop for events. The city is alternately beautiful and sleazy. The locations are always able to be identified by a local. Sydney, in short, gives any Cliff Hardy novel additional street cred.
I thoroughly enjoyed “that Empty Feeling”. I recommend it to any reader of crime fiction.