24 February 2011
Review: WYATT, Garry Disher
Source: my local library
Wyatt’s been away. Now he’s back.
Garry Disher’s cool, enigmatic anti-hero has been, uncharacteristically, out of action for a while. Now there’s a new Wyatt—and his legion of fans will not be disappointed.
The job’s a jewel heist. The kind Wyatt likes. Nothing extravagant, nothing greedy. Stake out the international courier, one Alain Le Page, hold up the goods in transit and get away fast.
Wyatt prefers to work alone, but this is Eddie Oberin’s job. Eddie’s very smart ex-wife Lydia has the inside information. Add Wyatt’s planning genius and meticulous preparation, and what could possibly go wrong?
Plenty. And when you wrong Wyatt, you don’t get to just walk away.
I came to WYATT not having read any of the earlier novels in the series, not surprising really as the last one was published a decade ago:
1. Kickback (1991)
2. Paydirt (1992)
3. Deathdeal (1993)
4. Crosskill (1994)
5. Port Vila Blues (1996)
6. The Fallout (1997)
7. Wyatt (2010)
As a result I had little idea about what I would find.
What I did know was that WYATT won the 2010 Ned Kelly award for Best Fiction.
Disher brings to his writing a polished style that is gritty, bare, and yet flowing. It suits the character of Wyatt who is also gritty, clever, prepared, focussed. He doesn't hesitate to kill if he has to, and there are times when he does, seemingly without compunction.
The novel feels firmly embedded in its Australian environment, Victoria in particular. I don't think non-Australian readers will need a glossary or translation service though.
One aspect that some readers may not like is that we are seeing crime from the criminal's point of view.
In many ways Wyatt is evil, and he wins! Some would say, a very suitable Ned Kelly winner.
My rating: 4.7
Garry Disher's page on Text Publishing.