George V. Reilly

Review: Bad Debts

Bad Debts
Title: Bad Debts
Author: Peter Temple
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ½
Publisher: Quercus
Copyright: 1996
Pages: 319
Keywords: mystery
Reading period: 7 September, 2009

Jack Irish is a one-time lawyer who makes a living doing odd job­s—in­ves­ti­ga­tions, racehorse hand­i­cap­ping, cabinet making—in Melbourne. A former client, who went to jail years ago while Jack had crawled into a bottle, tries to reach Jack and promptly turns up dead. Jack starts looking and what he finds isn’t pretty: corruption all the way up into the state government.

Jack isn’t stupid, but he is naïve and out of his depth for much of the book. Temple combines the Australian backdrop, social commentary, a decent plot, and in­ter­est­ing characters to make a good book.

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