Bad Debts: The First Jack Irish Thriller (tie-in)
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When Jack receives a puzzling message from a jailed ex-client he’s too deep in misery over his football team’s latest loss to take much notice. Next thing Jack knows, the ex-client’s dead and he’s been drawn into a life-threatening investigation involving high-level corruption, dark sexual secrets, shonky property deals, and murder. With hitmen after him, shady ex-policemen at every turn, and the body count rising, Jack needs to find out what’s going on—and fast.
The first novel in the iconic Jack Irish series, Bad Debts was first published in 1996 and won the Australia's crime writing prize, the Ned Kelly Award, for Best First Novel. Peter Temple went on to win Australia's highest literary honor, the Miles Franklin Award, in 2010 for Truth as well many other awards and accolades both in Australia and internationally.
said. ‘Work.’ I might as well have said I had to go to Perigord for truffles for all the exculpatory power this statement carried. ‘Should’ve taken the team with you,’ said Wilbur Ong. ‘What kind of work does a man have in Sydney on Satdee arvo?’ said Norm O’Neill in a tone of amazement. These men would no more consider being away from Melbourne on a Saturday in the football season than they would consider enrolling in personal development courses. I caught the eye of Stan the publican. He was
day, pottering around endlessly as usual—a dab of oil here, a wipe of a surface there, here a gentle opening and closing of a cabinet door, there a pull–push of a drawer. I gradually worked him through the front doors like a sheepdog with a particularly difficult sheep. We drove around to the Prince of Prussia. Usually we walked, but Charlie’s hip was hurting. I parked the Celica around the corner in a loading zone. ‘No respect for the law,’ Charlie said. ‘That’s where it all begins. Und du bist
fired, a flat smack. Tom set a nice pace, about what you’d expect for a frontrunner over 1400 or 1600 metres on a country track. The straight was about 350 metres. When they came around the turn, you could see that the going was soft and that the horse was not entirely happy. But the going wasn’t going to stop Slim putting on a show. At the 300-metre mark, you could see Tom urge the horse with hands and heels. It didn’t require much. With every appearance of enjoyment, the horse opened its
windows. ‘Thanks for coming,’ Bruce said. ‘Sorry about the escort. Let me give you a drink. Whisky, anything.’ I said no thanks, curtly. He was at the side table with his glass. He put it down and turned, a big man, bigger in life than on television. He’d boxed. There was scar tissue around his eyes. It hadn’t shown up on television. That would take skilful make-up. ‘Jack,’ he said, ‘this is friendly. Let’s have a quiet drink together. It’s very much in your interests. Okay? What’ll you have?’
‘Pre-dinner drink. We in the law eat early.’ ‘Her boyfriend hit me with a baseball bat.’ ‘What? Didn’t break anything? No?’ I shook my head. ‘Good, good. Your suffering won’t be in vain. I’ll get you something for pain and suffering. This bloke’s loaded. Dudded plenty of insurance companies.’ I followed him down the passage into the kitchen at the back of the building. We sat at the formica-topped table. Drew opened two bottles of Coghills Creek lager. I had a sip, put the bottle down and