Last September, I made a new-fiscal-year resolution (doesn’t everyone make those?) to read all the books written by Australian crime-fiction great Peter Temple. Resolve in haste, reap the rewards at your leisure: with Dead Point (2000), the third Jack Irish novel, I find myself just over halfway done—Temple, after all, has only written nine books, and this one makes five.
Well, I guess I’m actually two-thirds done, when you consider that I’ve already read The Broken Shore (2007), which was the book that got me hooked in the first place. But, reading in chronological order, I’m up to book five.
Anyway, here’s what I thought:
Horse racing, Australian-rules football, and woodworking are unusual throughlines for any series, but Temple is as adept at enlivening crime fiction with unusual details as he is at turning the same old stuff into something new. Jack Irish would rather be engaged in any of these three pursuits, but the part-time suburban solicitor just can’t avoid getting tangled up in nasty cases.
Next up is Identity Theory (2004), which Booklist did review because it was published in the U.S., unlike many of the older books. But I’ll be reading it anyway, even if I’m not writing a new review. And, from there, the finish line will be in sight—not that it’s a finish line I’m in any great hurry to cross. After all, when you’ve read all of a favorite author’s books, what’s left? Just that empty feeling that won’t go away until he publishes a new one.