Wednesday, June 16, 2010

No Weather for a Burial: The Return of Pufferfish

The crime-fiction hero who proves that his species can live alone, chafe at one's bosses, be haunted by dark memories and deprived of a wife (or fiancée), and still be in full, brimming psychological health, is back.

He's David Owen's Franz Heineken, known to some as Pufferfish, scourge of Tasmania's criminals and back in a new book after four of the more entertaining crime novels of the 1990s.

A declaration that "There's nothing like a bit of long service leave to put the pips back in a Detective Inspector's core" opens both the new book, No Weather for a Burial, and Heineken's meditation on why he has not retired after a long vacation (three months for Heineken, since 1997 and the previous Pufferfish book for Owen).

The answer, he tells us, lies in the nickname Pufferfish,
"which they gave me soon after I cut my teeth as a dour young migrant from Rotterdam, an unhurried outsider of few words, hard to get to know, prickly, feeder off detritus in murky shallows, ability to inflate and even explode under severe provocation. Not the best CV if you want to get along with your new vrienden of the Tasmanian Police Force, but effective attributes for the job at hand. Outthinking crims. Outwaiting them. Being a dirty bastard when necessary. Being a cop."
That's a damn sight better than looking in the mirror when he gets up in the morning and describing what he sees, and I'm looking forward to more amused irony in the pages that follow.
***
Read my discussions of the first four Pufferfish novels: Pig's Head, A Second Hand, X and Y and The Devil Taker.

No Weather for a Burial is published by Forty Degrees South Publishing in Tasmania. I'm unsure if the first four books are in print, but you might find copies on ABE, the Book Depository or BuyAustralianBooks.com. The effort will be worthwhile.

An omnibus of the first four books is expected in 2012, according to this article, which also includes surprising thoughts from Peter Temple about prizes.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

Labels: , , , , , ,

14 Comments:

Blogger Sean Patrick Reardon said...

Peter,

Thanks a bunch for the tip on "Wake Up Dead" I am loving it, big time. If David Owen's novels are anywhere near as good as W.U.D, I'm in.

Also reading Allen Guthrie's "Hard Man" & "Slammer" and I'm loving them in the same way I did "The Big-O"

June 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Sean, I'm pleased you're enjoying "Wake Up Dead." One wants to spread the word about books like that. It makes an odd pairing for mention in the same sentence with David Owen, though. Smith and Owen are close to polar opposites among the crime fiction I like to read.

Guthrie and "The Big O" -- some good similarities there: action, humor, violence.

June 17, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Peter Temple's view on prizes (on a prize, in this case) surprising?

June 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Why is Peter Temple's view on prizes (on a prize, in this case) surprising?

Who was the last person you know of not just to take himself out of the running for a major prize, but to do so with good grace?

June 18, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How would you like to win the Ned Kelly in the year Temple had a book but didn't enter it? The man is cold and calculating.

June 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, that is plausible.

June 18, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

I think Peter Temple is modest and writes because he likes to write and has something to say and says it well. And that he takes pride in that.

On the Pufferfish, I have nothing to say, except that the cover is well-done.

June 21, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't know enough about Peter Temple's personality to judge one way or the other. When he has something to say, he generally says it quite well.

The Pufferfish books are worth seeking out if you can find copies at a reasonable price.

June 21, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Oh, but the TBR pile is too great for more books and an order from Book Depository is due in a month and my plans for more orders from that distributor are growing.

June 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's a nice feeling, isn't? I just suggested what I did about the Pufferfish books because they may not be that easy to obtain right when you want to read them.

June 22, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Yes, lots of books, however, I still can't figure out how some folks read so much. I mean, people work, shop, cook, do dishes, pay bills, do errands, catch up on the news, perhaps do a crossword puzzle, walk the dog or take care of the cat, maybe other people, check in on reading blogs, etc.

June 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Oh, some people neglect the dishes.

June 22, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d, said...

Actually, about Peter Temple, yes, I have read about his thoughts about guilt many anti-apartheid white people felt, those who felt they couldn't do anything or they'd be in terrible danger.

I can relate to that.

There were many white activists in South Africa, including Nadine Gordimer.

June 22, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Peter Temple's novel Identity Theory. also released under the title In the Evil Day, set partly in South Africa, is none too complimentary to its rich white characters.

And Stanley Trollip, one half of the Michael Stanley writing team, also white and from South Africa, may have been involved in anti-apartheid efforts, if my recollection is accurate.

I don't know if James McClure ever felt his fiction would get him in trouble, but he didn't publish his first novel until after he'd left South Africa.

June 22, 2010  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home