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.
‘Bad Debts is wonderful, quintessentially Australian stuff, full of authentic, diehard types, old culture cops, backstreet humour and inner-city dialogue you can overhear in the bars of certain hotels, the ones with framed pictures of horses on the walls. It is the genuine article and an absolute pearler of a read.’
‘Like his characters, Temple has a spare, funny delivery, and a sharp eye for a target…Temple writes with the urgency of someone who wants to disrupt an official investigation, and his story is kept up like taut wire. Brothers and sisters in crime, worship at the Temple.’
‘The prose is tight, the pace breathless, the dialogue inspired, and Temple’s take on the Victorians’ football mania hilarious.’
‘Temple can be as tough as nails, but also displays a wickedly droll sense of humour which, like the work of, say, the American writer Joe R. Lansdale, frequently has the reader holding his sides with laughter even while immersed in some particularly unpleasant scenario…With Bad Debts Temple has created a world-class novel.’
‘Unlike many good crime stories, this one can be related to our immediate environment. It incorporates icons and mediums which are very much part of most Australians’ lives…These are the elements which make Bad Debts such a good crime novel. From the unforgettable cast of characters to the events which pre-destine their lives, the story literally explodes off the pages.’
‘One of the world’s finest crime writers.’
‘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.’
‘Fortunately, Text Publishing last year began the welcome and long-overdue project of ensuring that Temple’s entire backlist, which includes four Jack Irish novels and five stand-alones, is available on these shores…Irish is tough and resourceful, yes, but it’s the way Temple brings out his fear, desire, humor, and self-doubt that ranks him among the most interesting series heroes.’
‘Temple’s ear for dialogue and the vernacular was quite something—and had him compared to the masterful Detroit-native Elmore Leonard.’
‘The late Peter Temple was arguably one of our finest crime writers and an entertaining chronicler of Australian psyche…Bad Debts was the first book in the series and is a witty and tense journey through the backstreets of Melbourne…an excellent read and a good introduction to the series.’