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The Peter Temple Project: Black Tide

Likely Stories

Captivated by Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore (2007) and delighted to learn that all of the Australian crime-fiction author’s books are now available in the U.S., I’ve been reading them in order. (See my earlier post about the project.) I recently finished book four, which is the second book in the Jack Irish series: Black Tide (1999). Click the title to read my full review on Booklist Online, which I’ve excerpted here:

Is Guy Pearce a convincing Jack Irish? I don't know - I haven't watched yet.

Is Guy Pearce a convincing Jack Irish? I don’t know – I haven’t watched yet.


Only two books into a series of four, a certain formula is already in evidence—but what’s wrong with a formula that’s perfectly blended and strongly intoxicating? (The real wonder is why this wasn’t bottled for export sooner.) Jack picks up the thread, and soon it’s not apparent whether he’s pulling or being pulled, but he’s too dogged to let go. He bemoans his shortcomings, he makes mistakes, but, in the end, he proves to have grit and guile in equal measure. And, for a man whose allegedly bad love life includes a fair amount of lovemaking, his encounters with women are wonderfully written (in particular, a passage where he offhandedly describes a woman as plain and then, as the pages turn and the scene progresses, reconsiders: “Where had plain come from? How does one form these judgments?”).

Have you read Temple? Let me know. I know I’ve found a new favorite.



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

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