THE DUNBAR CASE - Peter Corris
I'm really not sure how Peter Corris, or Cliff Hardy manage to keep up the pace, but I'm very very relieved they do, as the New Year tradition of a new Cliff Hardy book, a couch and the Test Cricket on the radio has become rather important over the last few years.
One of the most interesting aspects of THE DUNBAR CASE is the nature of the investigation - uncovering the mysteries of a nineteenth-century shipwreck isn't the sort of case that you'd expect to find in a modern day PI style novel. But as is often the way, it doesn't really matter what Hardy is called upon to look into, there's going to be a bit of huffing and puffing, lurking baddies, a love interest and a nicely staged battle that the good guys need to fight to win the day.
It's really a testament to the writing of this series that makes it work so well. Whilst there is now a slight tendency to pull a few physical punches just a little (Hardy's neither as young, or as fit as he used to be after all), everything else delivers in full throttle mode as usual. And in a tidy package of 243 so pages. A bit of a masterclass in getting to the point, staying there, and finishing it off without a lot of wandering about in the middle. Something I wish I could master in these reviews!
As usual you're not going to get an indepth look at the whys and wherefores of life, the universe and all the big questions. But with THE DUNBAR CASE you are going to get a tight, punchy, enjoyable PI novel with a central character that keeps on keeping on, and all power to him for it. Just the thing for a spot of entertaining, escapist reading regardless of where you are.
This wasn't Hardy's usual brief--uncover the mysteries of a nineteenth-century shipwreck--but he could do with an easy case and the retainer was generous.
But is it ever that simple? Not with a notorious crime family tearing itself apart, and an undercover cop playing both sides against the middle. These and an alluring but fiercely ambitious female journalist give Hardy all the trouble he can handle.
'Ever feel manipulated?' Hardy asks. The body count mounts up as he pushes closer to the truth about the mystery and the loot.