HarperCollins, £16.00stg HB
Homicide Detective Scobie Malone is not having a good day. He has not one but two murders to investigate at a 2.5 star hotel in central Sydney. At first both seem to be open and shut cases – a wife beating cleaner who bullied his wife once too often, and a woman, who may be a prostitute, unlucky with her client. However, Malone's day is just about to get a whole lot worse.
The "prostitute" turns out to be the wife of the American Ambassador. A little digging reveals her very shady past, all of which is news to the Ambassador. If that isn't bad enough, the husband killer is a very old flame of Malone's – who refuses to speak to anyone but him and is intent on ruining his very happy 25-year marriage. With the two murders happening just feet from each other, the question on everyone's mind is, "Are they connected?" That's for Malone and his team to uncover.
The Sydney Morning Herald hailed Jon Cleary as "the best practitioner of Australian crime fiction" – whether he is or not is debatable, but 'Yesterday's Shadow' is definitely worth a read. While the story-line isn't the strongest, Cleary's endearingly ordinary characters and wonderful turn of phrase will keep you turning the pages.