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Australia & New Zealand Crime Fiction Reviews since 2006
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OPEN FILE - Peter Corris
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Allen & Unwin
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Cliff Hardy, with his PI licence cancelled and his career in Sydney at an end, is preparing for a trip overseas. Cleaning out his office, he comes across an open file - an unresolved case from the late 1970s. He starts reading and is thrown back to his investigation of the disappearance of Justin Hampshire. At first glance it was a straightforward missing person matter, but the investigation took on twists and turns involving military history, Sydney criminals and corruption at high levels. To solve the Hampshire case Cliff had to travel from the south coast to the Blue Mountains. Thirty years later, unresolved questions about the file still prey on his mind.
Cliff Hardy is cleaning out his office after losing his Private Investigator's licence. He comes across a folder with the paperwork for a missing person's case going back to 1988, Australia's Bi-centennial year.
OPEN FILE is a look back at how Cliff did his job twenty years ago. It is remarkable to note just how much technology has changed our lives in the twenty years since that landmark year in Australia's history. It was an era before the common use of mobile phones - when you could still find a public phone booth and put a coin in the slot. There was no internet to use as a reference to find people and information. These things have become so much a part of our daily lives that we forget what life was like before we had them.
Peter Corris' writing style is to the point. He gets straight to the story and doesn't waste words. He also manages to evoke a very strong sense of Sydney. Corris knows these streets, he's had a beer at the pubs and a cup of coffee at the coffee shops. There is a reason why Corris is referred to as the "godfather of Australian crime fiction" and if you are wondering why, then one of his Cliff Hardy books will answer the question.
Submitted 6 years 6 months ago by
Monday, July 14, 2008 - 5:57am
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