Peter Temple

Journalist, lecturer and crime fiction writer Peter Temple started writing fiction in the 1990s. with the Jack Irish novels (Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point, White Dog) set in Melbourne with a gambling lawyer as the central character. He followed those with three stand-alone novels, The Broken Shore and its semi-sequel, Truth, both of which probably warrant a re-read.


  • Black Tide (1999), the second in the Jack Irish series, where the lawyer cum traditionalist cabinet-maker protagonist agrees to look for Des Connors' missing son, Connors is the last living link to Jack's father, who is in danger of having his house repossessed unless his son Gary can be persuaded to hand back sixty thousand dollars. 

Looking for Gary isn't the only iron in the fire as Irish moves through a world of disillusioned AFL supporters, racetrack scams and betting plunges and intermittent romantic attachments, all of which contribute something to the on-going narrative and keep the reader on his toes as he attempts to keep track of things.

That masculine he reflects the fact that we're looking at a very blokey environments of pubs, racetracks and footy fields, and it soon becomes obvious that an increasingly murky situation exists on the fringe of a worldwide conspiracy involving drug-dealing, the intelligence agencies, political intrigue and corruption at the highest levels. A cracking read, and a strong case for borrowing Bad Debts on my next visit to the library.

  • Truth, a pretty good read where Steve Villani, head of the Melbourne Homicide squad investigates the murder of a young woman as his marriage disintegrates and Victoria shapes towards a change of government. A pretty believable mix of police procedure, crime and misconduct, corruption and deceit with a repeat of Black Saturday lurking in the background.
  • The Broken Shore, which, although you might call it the prequel to Truth stands pretty impressively on its own.

Investigate availability of:

Bad Debts (1996)

An Iron Rose (1998)

Shooting Star (1999)

Black Tide (1999)

Dead Point (2000)

In the Evil Day (2002) aka Identity Theory

White Dog (2003)

© Ian Hughes 2012