I don’t read much crime fiction but the cover of Dark Clouds on the Mountain appealed to me. Even Aussies may have trouble recognising where it is – it’s not old apartment blocks in some European city, it’s Salamanca Place in Hobart with Mt Wellington looming over it in the background. Looking much more gloomy than it has on my frequent visits there, when I’ve enjoyed great weather, summer or winter, every time!
John Tully writes well. Yes, the book features the usual world-weary detective, overweight and preoccupied with smoking too much. Yes, Jack Martin has the usual relationship and family issues that go with his line of work. Yes, there are the usual ‘office politics’ that feature in the genre: police corruption, poor management, incompetence etc. But what made this book work for me was the authenticity of place, the author’s refusal to dumb down for his readers, and a tight, intricate plot that drew on the history of WW2 and its aftermath.
I must not give away any spoilers here, so I shall content myself by reminding readers that Nazi war criminals did indeed make their way to Australia in those hectic days of post war immigration…
Author: John Tully
Title: Dark Clouds on the Mountain
Publisher: Hybrid Publishers, 2010
Review copy courtesy of Hybrid Publishers.
© Lisa Hill
Buy direct from Hybrid Publishers online, $29.95 (Hybrid are a small indie publishing house, and they have an interesting list. They”re also the publishers of Alan Collins’ Alva’s Boy (see my review) and Alex Skovron’s The Poet (see my review).