It was with a bittersweet feeling that I closed White Dog (2003), the fourth and final (so far as we know) book in Australian crime-fiction great Peter Temple’s series about erstwhile Melbourne lawyer Jack Irish (the other books are Bad Debts, 1996; Black Tide, 1999; and Dead Point, 2000). Anyone with a favorite author or series knows the feeling: you want to read everything, but after you have, what do you look forward to?
I don’t have a lot left to look forward to as my Peter Temple Project nears completion—just The Broken Shore (2005), which I’ve already read, and Truth (2009). I could procrastinate that final title, savoring the feeling that there is still more to read, but I may as well get it over with. After the requisite time adjusting to my new reality, the one in which I’ve read all the books Temple has written and still have no idea why he hasn’t written more, I’m sure I’ll find another reading project I don’t really have time for. There are a few Irvine Welsh books I haven’t read, for example, and it is high time I read Moby-Dick again . . . .
Back to White Dog. In some ways I feel like I was repeating myself in this review. Then again, in some ways I feel like Temple was repeating himself. Not that I hold it against him, as will be obvious from my review:
In the fourth and final Jack Irish novel, first published in 2003 and only recently published in the U.S., the part-time Melbourne, Australia, lawyer accepts a job assisting in the defense of Sarah Longmore, a wealthy sculptor accused of shooting her straying lover, a property developer. Jack takes the case and falls for Sarah, but before a defense can be mounted, a shocking event renders the legal proceedings moot.