THE BIG SCORE - Peter Corris

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The Big Score
Cliff Hardy
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Book Synopsis

In this new collection of short stories, Cliff Hardy has his hands full with murder, blackmail, embezzlement and more.  True to form, Cliff doesn't waste words or pull punches as he untangles an ugly divorce, investigates the killing of a Glebe drinking buddy, and takes care of a nasty case of blackmail.  The eleven tales are set in Cliff's Sydney, a place with no shortage of thugs, mid-morning beers and crooked cops.

Book Review
There are probably more, but immediate reactions on getting a book of short stories, is that there are precious few Crime Fiction short story collections by Australian authors around (I'm probably about to be proven totally wrong!).  But there's something very engaging about a good collection - engaging enough to make you find yourself volunteering to run the errands, wait outside for whatever or whoever - because it will give you a precious few minutes or so to read another of this collection.
Cliff finds himself named as a killer in the dying breathe of a victim; tracks a team of tree poisoners; sorts out where the money went in a messy divorce; finds the killer of a local identity; gets taken in by the sting; tracks a kidnapped wife; searches for the ex and daughter of a dying man; explains the odd training regime; discovers the truth behind the wreath at an elderly woman's funeral; gets confused by the bookworm; and heads off into the bush for basic army-style training.  All in Cliff's inimitable, wise-cracking, hard man with a heart style.  
THE BIG SCORE is a collection that will work for a lot of readers - as a palate cleanser between other books; to bring you back to Cliff after a time away; as an introduction to the sparse, clever style of Corris; or simply because you'd be tempted to read a shopping list that Corris wrote.

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