Book Ballast Cleary, Jon Yesterday's Shadow

ISBN 13: 9780007108688

Yesterday's Shadow

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9780007108688: Yesterday's Shadow

From the award-winning Jon Cleary, a new novel featuring Sydney detective Scobie Malone.

Two murders in one hotel on the same night – coincidence? The first victim is a cleaner, but it is the second corpse that sets alarm bells ringing in Sydney's Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit, for the victim proves to be the wife of the American ambassador.
And as if he didn't have enough to contend with, fending off interested parties from the FBI, CIA and federal authorities, Scobie Malone finds himself confronted with a long-forgotten girlfriend who is now the widow of a wife-beater.

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Product Description:

From the award-winning Jon Cleary, a new novel featuring Sydney detective Scobie Malone.

Two people are murdered in one night… in the same hotel. The first victim is a cleaner, and the second turns out to be the wife of the American ambassador.

Alarm bells are ringing in the Sydney's Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit and, as if he didn't have enough to contend with fending off interested parties from the FBI, CIA and federal authorities, Scobie Malone finds himself confronted with a long-forgotten girlfriend who is the widow of an abusive husband.

Review:

Over the years, Jon Cleary has built up a considerable following for his Malone stories. While they have the kind of insightful characterisation that distinguishes the best thrillers, it's the wildly twisting plots and vividly evoked settings that typify Cleary's work. Yesterday's Shadow is another cogent demonstration of Cleary's art: if better crime fiction is being written in Australia, it would have to be pretty good.

Detective Scobie Malone finds himself called in to the Hotel Southern Savoy to investigate two killings in one night. One appears to be straightforward: a cleaner who abused his wife has paid a heavy price. But the second case is more unusual: the murder victim is the wife of the American ambassador. Soon Malone is struggling not just with the case but with the unwelcome attentions of the FBI, the CIA and the federal authorities. But as he digs deeper into the dead woman's past, he finds that her life is something of a fiction. And the danger he is soon dealing with is further complicated by meeting an ex-girlfriend who looks bent on shattering his happy marriage.

Theoretically, this is crime fiction of a highly professional order, full of the kind of page-turning qualities that are de rigeur in the genre. But in fact it functions equally well as a strikingly observed novel dealing with contemporary Australian issues, and the reader is given a fascinating picture of a complex (and sometimes insular) society. Many a crime reader is tired of the dysfunctional cop with the broken marriage and/or drink problem; Cleary demonstrates yet again that his protagonist can lead an outwardly uneventful life, but be quite as interesting as the human wrecks that populate most crime novels these days. Malone is a brilliantly characterised hero, and this is probably the best outing yet for Cleary's tenacious detective. --Barry Forshaw

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