- a detective's story in ten cases
- published by Text Publishing 2012
- ISBN 9781921922930
- 283 pages
- source: my local library
A brilliant Melbourne crime novel, told in ten hardboiled stories.John Dorn is a private investigator. Just like his father used to be. It says ‘private inquiry agent’ in John’s Yellow Pages ad because that’s what his old man called himself, back before his business folded, his wife left him and he drank himself to death.
But John’s not going to end up like his father. He doesn’t have a wife, or much business. He doesn’t really drink, either. Not yet.
In each of these ten delicious stories Zane Lovitt presents an intriguing investigation filled with humour and complex, beautifully observed characters. At their centre is John Dorn, solving not so much crimes as funny human puzzles; but the crimes, and the criminals, are forever lurking nearby, taunting him from the city’s cold underworld.
It’s his job to unravel the mystery, or right the wrong, or just do what the client has hired him to do. Somehow, though, there is a misstep at every turn, and John takes another small stumble towards his moment of personal truth. His midnight promise. Perhaps even his redemption.
I remember some discussion when this book was first published about whether it is a novel, as the publisher claims, or a collection of short stories.
This is the second time I have read this novel. See my earlier review here.
My rating: 4.3