04 November 2015
Peter Corris: Casino
Cliff Hardy is a hard-boiled detective with a love for Sydney, my old hometown. He is a private investigator who ekes out a living on minor, normally low-paying, cases. Hardy is a borderline alcoholic, drives an old Falcon with almost bald tires, and always seems to have luck in seducing the ladies - but his relationships don't last long.
Cliff is really down on his heels when he is approached by the manager of a new casino in Sydney to take up a 12-month contract to run their security. Hardy turns down the contract because he feels he is far too independent to knuckle down to a full-time job with big responsibilities. He recommends one of his friends Scott Galvani who would be a perfect fit for such a job.
A few weeks into the job Galvani is murdered and leaves behind a young family. Hardy is devastated and after police indifference in finding the killer he decides to investigate himself. To do so he takes the security job for a short time while a replacement can move from the US so that he can work out what may have happened. There he meets and has a short relationship with attractive but unpredictable Vita Drewe. Things get increasingly dangerous as he finds out more about what Galvani had uncovered.
This is #18 in Peter Corris's excellent series about Cliff Hardy which he has written over the last 35 years. They are all satisfying light thrillers and I plan to keep reading more in the series when I need a break from my normal diet of heavier thrillers and historical literary fiction.