29 June 2013

Review: THE EASY SIN, Jon Cleary - audio book

  • book published in 2002
  • 19/20 in the Scobie Malone series
  • this edition published by Audible in 2009
  • narrator: Christian Rodska
  • Length 8 hours 53 mins
Synopsis (publisher)

The time has come for Officer Scobie Malone to leave the Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit of the Sydney police. His last investigation could be the most bizarre case ever to land upon a policeman's desk.

Fantastic Fiction

From Australia's 'national literary institution' (Sydney Morning Herald), the latest mystery featuring homicide detective and family man Scobie Malone

The time has come for Scobie Malone to leave the Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit of the Sydney police, and his last investigation could be the most bizarre case ever to cross his desk. Called in when a housemaid is found dead in a dotcom millionaire's penthouse, Scobie suspects he's dealing with a kidnap that's gone wrong. In fact, it couldn't have gone more wrong. The kidnappers thought they had grabbed the millionaire's girlfriend -- how were they supposed to know he liked slipping into her designer dresses when she wasn't around?

The plot thickens further when it is revealed that the dotcom bubble has burst, leaving the erstwhile millionaire in debt to the Yakuza and Scobie on the trail of some old adversaries. Throw in the ex-wife, a mistress or two, and the mother of all outlaws, and you have a case that would confound the greatest detective and entertain the most discerning of readers. 

My Take

Christian Rodka's brilliant narration added great pleasure to listening to this novel. There is quite a cast of characters and his voice portrayal made picking one from the other relatively easy.

I've been on a bit of a Jon Cleary kick in the last few months and have listened to
4.6, WINTER CHILL- set some time before THE EASY SIN and
4.7, DEGREES OF CONNECTION which was Jon Cleary's last Scobie Malone novel, following on from THE EASY SIN.

There are passages in this novel which crack a smile, despite the seriousness of the story line: an abduction and a couple of murders thrown in for good measure; a gang that by any standards is incompetent, but at the same time amoral.  I thought some of the characters were overblown and parts of the plot definitely unrealistic. On the other hand the collapse of the dotcom bubble pointed to how ordinary Australians lost money in a world financial phenomenon.

And then for Scobie Malone fans, historically this was his last case at the head of Homicide and at the time they must have wondered what Jon Cleary was up to. With hindsight we know he was preparing to bow out of crime fiction. 

My rating:  4.3

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