John Cleary

Dilemma by John Cleary & Fetish by Tara Moss

April 2000, no. 219

Let us start with the similarities: two thrillers, set mainly in Sydney, each with a would-be snappy but jaded one word tide. On each a stiletto-heeled shoe is part of the cover design. There the ways seem to part. Dilemma is John Cleary’s forty-ninth novel in a career of six decades and marks the sixteenth appearance of Detective Scobie Malone. For Canadian-born, former model Tara Moss, Fetish is her first novel. HarperCollins is loyal to the old, supportive of the new. Or supportive up to a point. Both books needed much stricter editing, not only for typos (‘eluded’ for ‘alluded’ in Fetish, for instance: one hopes that is a typo), but to tighten structures that let suspense amble away.

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