In the second installment of Peter Temple's Jack Irish series, the Australian attorney and private investigator goes in search of the son of Des Connors, an old friend of Jack's dead father. What seems like a straightforward missing-person case soon becomes complicated, however, as Irish begins to discover the large-scale and nefarious truth behind Gary Connors' disappearance. Marco Chiappi performs with a brisk, no-nonsense style that gives a jolting clarity to the multiple storylines in Black Tide, and he embodies Temple's colorful characters with a snappy edge that roots the story in Melbourne's culture and vernacular.
Jack Irish has no shortage of friends: jockeys and journos, lawyers and standover men, people in nameless occupations who aren't in the phone book. These days, though, the only family he sees are Irish men in faded football team photographs on the pub wall. So when Des Connors, the last link to his father, calls to ask for help in the matter of a missing son, Jack is happy to lend a hand. But sometimes prodigal sons go missing for a reason.
As Jack begins to dig, he discovers that Gary Connors was a man with something to hide. And his friends are people with darker and more deadly secrets.
©2008 Peter Temple; (P)2008 Bolinda
Author, reviewer, publisher @SilverWoodBooks.
I've really enjoyed other Peter Temple books, especially Jack Irish thrillers, so I was very much looking forward to this one. If it had been my first, I think I might have enjoyed it more but this outing felt a bit formulaic to me. The situations all seemed familiar (horse-racing, cabinet-making, the pub, a mystery, some violence, a pretty woman) and I must admit to wanting a new angle somewhere. However, the story was interesting and competently told, and Jack Irish is a character that it's easy to like and root for. The narration is superb and Marco Chiappi clearly relishes 'being' Jack Irish - I can't imagine anyone else doing justice to it! To summarise: good but not mind-blowing, and if this is your first Jack Irish you'll probably have great fun.
"The Irish have an interesting life"
Used to the characters and the language used and enjoy being thrust into an age before we all became too Politically Correct. (The Australian ABC films do a grand job of bringing the stories to life.)
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