I have recently finished a book I mentioned in a previous post Bad Debts by Peter Temple and thought it was as good enough reason as any to return to my delayed Crime Fiction Round the World Trip. Having been to Louisiana, Scotland and Italy, I thought this time it would be a homeward journey. Or at least home to Australia and further south from my actual home in Sydney to Melbourne. So here we go.
Destination Four: Melbourne, Australia – Home of Jack Irish and Stephen Villani from various Peter Temple novels.
Unlike the previous destinations and authors who I have read many, many books from, I have in fact only read 3 of Peter Temple’s. Two which were brilliant The Broken Shore and Truth and Bad Debts which to be honest, I kind of felt like I forced myself to read and could not really get into so some reason, maybe being a very early one it he had improved by the more recent or I was just not in the right frame of mind. But that said Peter Temple is a great writer, his crime books are a step above the rest. His earlier series featuring Jack Irish a gambling lawyer is where Bad Debts is from. His most famous books are Broken Shore and Truth (which won the Miles Franklin award – the top Australian literary award, a first for a crime book as far as I can tell, as it is always won by the people in the “Literature” section of bookstores). His stories in Melbourne and surrounding country areas are all able corruption, personal and political. There is a lot of story lines and comments about modern political and social issues. Reading the books you get a great sense of the place and the life of the city of Melbourne, complete with the references to Aussie Rules football, which is ridiculous sport but treated as a religion in Melbourne. Even though Bad Debts did not grab me fully, having read it I will read some more and check out some cheap flights down to Melbourne, especially as winter is now over and it won’t be so darn cold and miserable.