OPEN FILE - Peter Corris

Reviewed By
Sunnie Gill

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.

Year of Publication
Book Number (in series)

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 a straightforward missing person matter, the investigation took on twists and turns involving military history, Sydney criminals and corruption at high levels. The Hampshire case took Cliff from the south coast to the Blue Mountains and posed some unresolved questions which have preyed on his mind for 20 years . . .

Review OPEN FILE - Peter Corris
Sunnie Gill
Monday, July 14, 2008
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