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.