A Pale View of Hills 

Dulwich Hill branch manager, radio personality, and book selling superstar, Morgan Smith tells us how it is.

April 2018

Gleebooks Bookshop - Tuesday, April 03, 2018
How terribly sad that Peter Temple has died. His legion of fans have been anxiously waiting for another novel after Truth and apparently he was writing, but wasn’t happy enough with the manuscript to give it to his publishers. No doubt there will be many, many words written about Temple’s terrific body of work in the weeks and months to come. I had an especial fondness for Peter because, like me, he loved poodles and gave his character Joe Cashin, two black standards like he had himself. You have to love a man who understands the greatness of the poodle. It’s just too, too bad that we won’t get to read another novel from him, but maybe by the time you read this more will have been said about whether or not the book he was working on will be published. I imagine Michael Heyward at Text will respect Temple’s wishes, even though we’d all want to read whatever he was writing even I he didn’t think it good enough! 

On a lighter note, I read a fantastic crime novel, which, like Peter Temple’s novels, could just as easily lose the genre description. Back Up is by a Belgian writer, Paul Colize—no, I’d never heard of him either. It’s a rollicking read about an English rock band in the 60s who all die within days of making a mysterious recording in Berlin. The story is narrated by a man with locked-in syndrome which means he is conscious but otherwise completely paralysed, and we’re quite a way in before we get his connection to the band in question. There’s a lot of fascinating and fun detail about the English rock scene in the 60s—the Stones vs the Beatles etc and the European setting and the characters hold your interest. Colize is no Peter Temple, but the book is well-written and translated. I did get a bit ahead of myself, because I read this thinking it was an April new release to tell you about, but it isn’t out until May.

While on crime novels and out now, is The Ruin, the debut from Irish writer and Australian resident, Dervla McTiernan. Deservedly well-reviewed, this novel set in Ireland introduces Detective Cormac Reilly who returns to his home town of Galway after a successful police career in Dublin. Reilly must discover how a crime from twenty years previous has links to a recent suicide. The Ruin is a great read but McTiernan needs to further develop and round out the character of Cormac Reilly, who, in this first outing, is a little bland and indeed characterless. Still, there’s lots to like and I’m sure the next book will see Cormac living up to the publisher’s blurb of being the next Rebus or Wallander, but he’s not quite there yet. Happy Easter!

 See you on D’Hill, Morgan


 
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