After reading the final Cliff Hardy caper, Win, Lose or Draw, I was in the mood for another, and so dipped into my collection of unread Peter Corris novels and grabbed The Washington Club — the nineteenth novel starring the irrepressible private eye.
The usual plaudits apply: The Washington Club is another slickly plotted mystery, which unfolds at breakneck speed. This time, Cliff finds himself drawn into the investigation of a rich developer. His wife, Claudia Fleischman, has been charged with the murder, and Cliff’s tasked with the job of finding the real killer. Easier said than done, of course, and this case turns out to be one of his deadliest.
It was interesting returning to a younger — late forties — Cliff Hardy. The violence is more brutal, and the sex is graphic. That’s not a bad thing; it just gives the novel a harder edge, which had been blunted in later novels, in line with Hardy’s ageing. And while all of these hard-boiled novels follow a formula, this one’s ending is tremendous — real edge-of-your-seat stuff, and if I didn’t know the series would continue, I’d be left wondering about Cliff Hardy’s future in the private enquiry agent business.
Format: Paperback (198mm x 128mm x 23mm)
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publish Date: 1-Dec-2014
Country of Publication: Australia
Review by David Ho