The deep, somber, serious side of Shane Maloney, plus the ever-popular question for readers
I’ve read books one, four and five in the Whelan series, which took him from “minder, fixer and general dogsbody for the Minister for Industry” to respectability as a member of parliament. Now I’m reading number three, Nice Try, in which Whelan is detached from his job as senior adviser to the minister of water supply and put to work on Melbourne’s bid to host the 1996 Olympic Games.
I mention this because Whelan’s musings about encroaching middle age, moments of professional truth and the like seem more heartfelt this time, not just on his own behalf, but for his boss, Angelo Agnelli. The latter, especially, is a surprise, since Whelan in past books has regarded Agnelli with clear-eyed and amused condescension. Why the change? I wondered. Could it be – and I invite Australian readers especially to comment on this – because Maloney was part of Melbourne’s bid in real life and thus might have been disillusioned or disappointed when the bid failed?
On an unrelated note, Maloney does a nice bit of character development in the opening chapter. The character in question is a beautiful blonde female aerobics instructor, and you can imagine what fun an author of a novel whose protagonist is a single father might have with such a character. Maloney has that fun, and entertainingly so. But he also writes that “she had an open, frankly inquisitive face and wore her mandatory smile with a slightly ironic twist that didn’t quite match the earnest, professional cheerfulness of her workmates.”
The contrast piques the reader’s interest. That’s nice work on Maloney’s part.
How else do authors make you interested in their characters? What do they say about their characters that makes you want to know more?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Australian crime fiction
humorous crime fiction