Peter Corris’s Comeback, the thirty-ninth or some such book in his Cliff Hardy series, is yet another to be plucked from the apparently bottomless ocean that is the crime fiction genre. Ageing private detective Hardy – as adept with his fists as he is tactful with the ladies – skulks around a Sydney crammed with scabrous cops, fat-cat entrepreneurs, hired muscle, slinky prostitutes, and myriad other shady types. Misogyny at times bubbles uncomfortably close to the surface, there is no ailment physical or emotional that cannot be alleviated by alcohol, and the outcome conceals an Ian McEwan-ish twist so inevitable that it ultimately manifests as anything but.
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