Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: GHOST MONEY by Andrew Nette

Ghost MoneyAndrew Nette is Australia’s answer to David Corbett - GHOST MONEY comprises the same deep and richly detailed foreign landscape encrusted in local mannerisms, religion, and occupation as Corbett’s BLOOD OF PARADISE. 

The plot centralises around Quinlan, a Melbourne cop turned PI and his search for the elusive Charles Avery. Hired by Avery’s sister, Quinlan follows a trail of blood through Cambodia in search of his quarry.

GHOST MONEY is not your run of the mill PI novel. Nette provides the reader with an interesting game and cat and mouse that's noir with a subtle nod towards literature. Highlighting the political state, grinding poverty, and socioeconomic landscape coupled with the history associated with the Khmer Rouge, establishes a true sense of struggle and identity. The peripheral two dimensional 'extras in the background' going about their daily lives feel real and with purpose, not merely serving as obstacles or obstructions for Quinlan in his pursuit of Avery. Everything adds to the story.

The place-setting is much a character as protagonist PI Quinlan, changing the character’s perception, demeanor and level of influence with via a change of soil. Along the way author Andrew Nette introduces many memorable characters to accompany or hinder Quinlan; none more-so than Sarin, a local interpreter turned fast friend.

The action does at time, lend itself to Jame Bond in an ode to the spy pulps of yesteryear yet it is entirely justifiable. The dialogue and plot are smart; the detail a devil - GHOST MONEY is all consuming and utterly essential for fans wanting more smarts to their noir.

Andrew Nette is on to a winner in Quinlan, a PI who doesn't conform to the stereotype. His background, emotional depth and way of getting into the private gig separates him from the others. I sure hope to see more of Quinlan, one cant help but think his story is just getting started. 5 stars.


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