Tuesday, 28 May 2019



I'd found a life that wasn't based on watching and lying and plotting, on using people, laying traps, practising deceit. But I'd brought a virus with me, carried it like a refugee from some plague city, hiding symptoms, hoping against hope they would go away. And for a time they had. And I was happy.

But when men in police uniforms came to execute me on the roadside, beside dark fields, it was a definite sign that my new life was over.

Mac Faraday is a man with a past living a quiet life in the country - until his beloved friend Ned Lowey is found hanged. Is it suicide? Faraday won't accept that and starts to ask questions.

Why did Ned visit Kinross Hall, the local home for juvenile girls?
Why did he keep press cuttings about the skeleton of a girl found in an old mine shaft?
Who was the beaten girl found naked beside a lonely road?

As Faraday's search begins to uncover chilling secrets, he finds himself thrown back into the past, forced to confront again the dangers of his old life.

Once he was the hunter, now he has become the prey.

I made a notation in pencil in the front of this book FEB 07, which I assume denotes when I acquired it. Twelve plus years sat on the shelf before I read it - what a bloody idiot.  Pace, plot, character, setting and satisfaction at the outcome - all massive ticks in the box. A perfect read.

In a nutshell..... death, suicide, grief, disbelief, some digging, secrets, a can of worms opened, a children's home, a sex ring, abuse of power, a cover-up, an ordinary life lost, some old acquaintanceships reluctantly resumed.

I think the more I enjoy a book, the more difficult I find it to articulate just exactly why.

Great main character - decent, loyal, intelligent, a laugh around the footie and pub mates, sparks in the air when around the fairer sex, plenty of unrealised tension throughout, plenty of humour. Faraday is a bit like an onion, plenty of layers and depths, not all of them immediately on display. His disbelief at his friends apparent suicide immerses him back into the past and his previous life.

Intriguing story, an interesting investigation initially part-time while Mac Faraday is still living the day-to-day life as a blacksmith and part-time gardener. Eventually the investigation consumes Faraday.... small lies uncovered, help from a friend, a few cages rattled, more deaths, another "suicide", history, young victims, fear, a stalled execution and at its heart some powerful men - monied with stellar careers, politically connected, controlling a cabal of corrupt cops; everyone with a sense of entitlement, all perverted and morally bankrupt, all eventually brought down.

Fan-ferkin-tastic. The kind of book which has you rushing to the stacks to see what else you have from the author.

5 from 5

Peter Temple wrote nine books in his career, three standalones of which this is one, four in his Jack Irish series and two in his Broken Shore series. He sadly passed last year.

I've previously enjoyed one of the Irish novels, The Broken Shore and more recently a short offering Ithaca in My Mind.

Read - May, 2019
Published - 1998
Page count - 288
Source - owned copy
Format - paperback


  1. Oh, so glad you enjoyed this so much, Col. Peter Temple had so much talent as a writer. He is sorely missed. If you haven't read his Jack Irish series, I recommend it highly.

    1. Margot, he really was very talented. I may have to revisit Broken Shore and start afresh with the Jack Irish books. Who cares if a couple might be rereads?

  2. Sounds spiffy! Not an author I'm familiar with, but your review has encouraged me to give him a try.

    1. Hopefully your library can snag you something. I'd forgotten just how much I enjoy reading him.

  3. One of those authors I'm always meaning to try, I remember a lot of talk about Broken Shore. 5 out of 5 is quite the recommendation.

    1. Highly recommended, I reckon this is where our tastes overlap.

  4. Well I am going to have to look out for this one. I did read The Broken Shore, but I haven't read any of the Jack Irish books, though I intend to.

    1. I hope you aren't disappointed if you do track this one down. I don't think you will be.