Bad Debts (Jack Irish Series #1)

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Overview


PETER TEMPLE, WINNER OF THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD
WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION GOLD DAGGER FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF FIVE NED KELLY AWARDS FOR CRIME FICTION

Melbourne in winter. Rain. Wind. Pubs. Beer. Sex. Corruption. Murder.

A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn’t ring any bells for Jack ...

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Overview


PETER TEMPLE, WINNER OF THE MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD
WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION GOLD DAGGER FOR BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR
WINNER OF FIVE NED KELLY AWARDS FOR CRIME FICTION

Melbourne in winter. Rain. Wind. Pubs. Beer. Sex. Corruption. Murder.

A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn’t ring any bells for Jack Irish. Life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems: his beloved football team continues to lose, the odds on his latest plunge at the track seem far too long and he’s still cooking for one.

But then Danny turns up dead and Jack has to take a walk back into the dark and dangerous past.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

‘Having read the new novels of Michael Connelly and Martin Cruz Smith, I have to say that Temple belongs in their company. Australia is a long way off, but this bloke is world-class.’ Washington Post

'The Irish films make a good introduction to the work of Peter Temple, who's just a terrific writer — sharp, funny and ambitious.' NPR - Fresh Air

‘One of the world’s finest crime writers.’ The Times

"Temple's characters are complex, his plots complicated, his world smudged if not outright dirty - that is, his books are entirely credible." -HeadButler.com

"Peter Temple? Only one of the world's better novelists. But unknown to most American readers largely because he lives in Australia." -HeadButler.com

Publishers Weekly
Australian Jack Irish-ex-lawyer and sometime debt collector, cabinetmaker and barfly-gets a double introduction as MacAdam/Cage releases his first two adventures (number two is Black Tide) this month. Jack's a gumshoe in classic hard-boiled style: there's his clipped, black-humor dialogue, his hard-drinking past and his sad backstory (his wife was murdered by one of his clients). When Jack gets a desperate message from Danny McKillop, whom he defended years before on a hit-and-run charge "at the beginning of the forgotten zone, the year or so I spent drunk," he takes a while to call him back. When he does, Danny, who was fresh out of prison, is dead. Jack's guilt fuels his ensuing search for the truth about Danny's murder. The main plot, which has to do with a crooked land development deal, is overly complicated, but solid subplots-one concerning a romance, another about a horseracing scheme-keep the pages flipping. The engaging Jack and his friends are absolutely original and unfailingly amusing, and figuring out their speech patterns is great fun, even in its difficulty ("We'll have to get on the Drizas, motor out to the bush next week. Suit, Jack?"). Readers will take to this series like a thirsty man to strong drink and bang the bar for another round. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781921758812
  • Publisher: Text Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/20/2013
  • Series: Jack Irish Series , #1
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 200,098
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author


Peter Temple has worked extensively as a journalist and editor for newspapers and magazines in several countries. He has won five Ned Kelly Awards for his novels, and won the world’s most prestigious crimewriting prize, the Duncan Lawrie Dagger. In 2010 he was awarded Australia’s greatest writing prize, the Miles Franklin Literary Award. His books are published in more than twenty countries.
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Read an Excerpt

Bad Debts
By Peter Temple MacAdam/Cage Publishing

Copyright © 2005 Peter Temple
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781596921290


I found Edward Dollery, age forty-seven, defrocked accountant, big spender and dishonest person, living in a house rented in the name of Carol Pick. It was in a new brick-veneer suburb built on cow pasture east of the city, one of those strangely silent developments where the average age is twelve and you can feel the pressure of the mortgages on your skin.

Eddie Dollery’s skin wasn’t looking good. He’d cut himself several times shaving and each nick was wearing a little red-centred rosette of toilet paper. The rest of Eddie, short, bloated, was wearing yesterday’s superfine cotton business shirt, striped, and scarlet pyjama pants, silk. The overall effect was not fetching.

‘Yes?’ he said in the clipped tone of a man interrupted while on the line to Tokyo or Zürich or Milan. He had both hands behind his back, apparently holding up his pants.

‘Marinara, right?’ I said, pointing to a small piece of hardened food attached to the pocket of his shirt.

Eddie Dollery looked at my finger, and he looked in my eyes, and he knew. A small greyish probe of tongue came out to inspect his upper lip, disapproved and withdrew.

‘Come in,’ he said in a less commanding tone. He took a step backwards. His right hand came around from behind his back and pointed a small pistol at myfly. ‘Come in or I’ll shoot your balls off.’

I looked at the pistol with concern. It had a distinctly Albanian cast to it. These things go off for motives of their own.

‘Mr Sabbatini,’ I said. ‘You’re Mr Michael Sabbatini? I’m only here about your credit card payment.’

‘Inside,’ he said, wagging the firearm.

He backed in, I followed. We went through a barren hallway into a sitting room containing pastel-coloured leather furniture of the kind that appears to have been squashed.

Eddie stopped in the middle of the room. I stopped. We looked at each other.

I said, ‘Mr Sabbatini, it’s only money. You’re pointing a gun at a debt collector. From an agency. You can go to jail for that. If it’s not convenient to discuss new arrangements for repayments now, I’m happy to tell my agency that.’

Eddie shook his head slowly. ‘How’d you find me?’ he said.

I blinked at him. ‘Find you? We’ve got your address, Mr Sabbatini. We send your accounts here. The company sends your accounts here.’

Eddie moved aside a big piece of hair to scratch his scalp, revealing a small plantation of transplanted hairs. ‘I’ve got to lock you up,’ he said. ‘Put your hands on your head.’

I complied. Eddie got around behind me and said, ‘Straight ahead. March.’

He kept his distance. He was a good metre and a half behind me when I went through the doorway into the kitchen. There were about a dozen empty champagne bottles on various surfaces around the room – Perrier Jouët, Moët et Chandon, Pol Roger, Krug. No brand loyalty here, no concern for the country’s balance of payments. The one on the counter to my right was Piper.

‘Turn right,’ Eddie said.

I turned right very smartly. When Eddie came into the doorway, the Piper bottle, swung backhand, caught him on the jawbone. The Albanian time-bomb in his hand went off, no more than a door slam, the slug going Christ knows where. Eddie dropped the gun to nurse his face. I pulled him into the room by his shirt, spun him around and kicked him in the back of the right knee with an instep while wrenching him backwards by his hair. He hit the ground hard. I was about to give him a kick when a semblance of calm descended upon me. I spared him the grace note.

Eddie was moaning a great deal but he wasn’t going to die from the impact of the Piper. I dragged him off by the heels and locked him in the lavatory along the passage.

‘Mate,’ he said in a thick voice from behind the door, ‘mate, what’s your name?’

I said, ‘Mr Dollery, that was a very silly thing to do. Where’s the money?’

‘Mate, mate, just hold it, just one second…’

The freezer had been stocked for a two- or three-week stay, but all the recent catering had been by Colonel Sanders, McDonald’s and Dial-a-Dino. Dessert was from Colombia. There were dirty shirts and underpants all over the main bedroom and its bathroom. The mirror-fronted wall of cupboards held three suits, two tweedy sports jackets and several pairs of trousers on one side. On the other hung a nurse’s uniform, a Salvation Army Sally’s uniform, a meter maid’s uniform, and what appeared to be the parade dress of a female officer in the Waffen SS. With these went black underwear, some of it leather, and red suspender belts. My respect for Mrs Pick, florist and signatory to the house’s lease, deepened. By all accounts, she had a way with flowers too.

I was passing the lavatory on my way back from looking over the laundry when Eddie Dollery said,

‘Listen, mate, you want to be rich?’

He had excellent hearing. I stopped. ‘Mr Dollery,’ I said, ‘meeting people like you is riches enough for me.’

‘Cut that smart shit. Are you going to do it?’

‘Do what?’

‘Knock me.’

His was not a proper vocabulary for someone who had been an accountant. ‘Don’t be paranoid,’ I said.
‘It’s that marching powder you’re putting up your nose.’

‘Oh, Jesus,’ said Eddie. ‘Give me a chance, will you?’

I went into the sitting room and telephoned Belvedere Investments, my temporary employer. Mr Wootton would return my call, said Mrs Davenport. She’d had twenty years as the receptionist for a specialist in sexually transmitted diseases before joining Wootton. J. Edgar Hoover knew fewer secrets.



Continues...

Excerpted from Bad Debts by Peter Temple Copyright © 2005 by Peter Temple. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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