Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shooting Star by Peter Temple

Ok, so I've gotten incredibly lazy with keeping up with this blog, I'd even go so far as to say ridiculously lazy. I know, I know, it's the end of the month and this is only my second blog...pretty bad. I'm sure the few of you on here are lost and wondering what to do with all of that extra time you have since I've been gone, well, never fear, I'm back...for the moment anyway.

In my absence I can't say I've been reading a whole lot that would inspire me to write about it, mostly I've been re-reading things as a result of not being interested in reading something new. One of the exceptions would be Peter Temple's Shooting Star. It's been several weeks since I finished it, but I do remember enjoying the book enough to grab my Kindle and download some of his earlier stories, and I have The Broken Shore sitting on one of book shelves also. Back to Shooting Star, according the inside flap, the plot goes something like this:
Her rich family has closed ranks and summoned Frank Calder, ex-soldier and disgraced police hostage negotiator. they want him to deliver the ransom money to the kidnappers. Frank wants them to call in the law, but the family refuses, since police bungling nearly cost the life of another Carson child kidnapped years before.

But are the two kidnappings connected? and is greed the motivation? Revenge? Or could it be something else? To find out, Frank Calder must go beyond his brief.

As Frank feverishly searches for suspects in the web of Carson family businesses and deals, marriages and indiscretions, rivalries and intrigues, he knows that if his instincts are wrong, the girl will surely die.

I can't say I remember a whole lot of what happened or "who done it", but what I do remember is the, dark writing that pulls you in, it's almost poetic feeling at times.
We go down the passage. I feel the old sprung floorboards bounce, feel the rotten stumps move. Dave is ahead of me. At the frond door, I say, 'Open it.'

He opens it, stands, looks back at me. And I am seeing myself from outside, looking into the dim doorway, seeing myself, shirtless, sweat in the hollow of my throat.

'It's OK,' I say. 'It's OK, I'm with you.'

He puts out a hand to me. I sigh and take it and we go out into the verandah together, grown men holding hands.

It is dark, no moon, no lights on in the street. I am straining to see beyond the low hedge and front gate.

At the steps, the spotlight comes on, night sun, impossibly bright light. Dave jumps, startled, lets go of my hand, turns, tries to hug me, bury his head in my shoulder.

I hear the sound and I feel the shot hit him, feel it through his bones, feel it through his arms clinging to me.

'Oh Jesus, no,' I say, holding him, feeling the strength leave his body, having to hold him up, feel his warm blood on my face, taste it on my lips, go to my knees with him.

And I hear myself saying, 'No, Dave, not me, not me.'

Then I am myself, looking into his eyes, seeing the reproach in them, no anger, just hurt and betrayal. 'You knew,' he says and he begins to cough, to cough up blood.
I have also heard good things about Temple's Truth and I believe it won The Miles Franklin award, a pretty nice Australian Literary award as I understand it. If you have read it, let me know what you think.


seana said...

Well, I wouldn't worry about taking some time off from this--it's really more the season to be out doing other things. Glad to see you haven't vanished entirely, though.

I have yet to get to any Peter Temple, unfortunately. All I can say is that he's on my list.

Glenna said...

Thanks Seana. I bet your part of the world is much more conducive to being out and about than mine, it's hot out here.

seana said...

Yeah, it's been pretty surreally gorgeous here the last few days. But don't begrudge us--remember, we're going to fall off into the sea sooner or later.

Glenna said...

In the middle of a jog in this 90 degree heat, the risk of falling in the sea doesn't sound half bad. Actually, it sounds pretty good.

seana said...

I like to solve the problem of getting overheated while jogging by, uh, not jogging...

Warrior Dash training in full force then, I see.

Glenna said...

This time it's the Jail Break Should be interesting...and a bit comical I'm sure.

seana said...

Well, at least it will be wet. Or at least damp.

Glenna said...

In September in Texas it had better be. We're still in the 90's jere at that point. I'm looking forward to it though.