A Wyatt Wareen Mystery by Garry Disher
Review: Professional thief Wyatt Wareen prefers to work alone. But his latest tip from a source on a major jewel shipment ripe for the taking requires him to be part of a team. And being on a team means more variables to consider … and more things to go wrong, as he is quickly discovers in Wyatt, the seventh mystery in this series of crime novels by Garry Disher, but the first to be published in the US.
Other people's endorsements meant nothing to him. He didn't even measure himself by himself. He was a thief and hold-up man, that's all. He was good at it because he thought and planned, and then thought and planned all over again, until he was satisfied. He was honest enough with himself to acknowledge his mistakes, but he rarely had to do that. Other people let him down. [His source] Eddie Oberin would let him down eventually.
It actually doesn't take Eddie very long to fulfill his destiny, as he pulls a double-cross and tries to kill Wyatt during the robbery. But Eddie and his unknown (to Wyatt) accomplice aren't very good in the murder department, as they leave another member of the team, Eddie's ex-wife Lydia, alive as well. Wyatt and Lydia flee the scene, determined not only to exact revenge on Eddie but to recover the stolen property as well. That is, if the victims of the theft don't get to both first.
Wyatt, which won the 2010 Ned Kelly Award for Best Novel, is a tautly plotted, well paced crime novel, and provides a solid introduction to this career criminal, even though this series is now 20 years old. (The first book, Kickback, was published in Australia in 1991.) The reader has a more omniscient view of the crime and its aftermath than does Wyatt, but the very qualities that make Wyatt so successful are also what make him so unpredictable. And make the narrative so compelling to follow.
There are a couple of scenes that are written to be open-ended, left to the reader's imagination to fill out the details, and the book ends quite abruptly, but that's consistent with the character of Wyatt. Nothing extraneous included, no unnecessary effort expended. Wyatt is a very good crime novel and will likely have readers wondering if the earlier books in the series might see a US publication at some point in the future.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Wyatt for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Port Vila Blues
Soho Crime (Hardcover), August 2012
ISBN-13: 9781616951016; ISBN-10: 161695101X
Location(s) referenced in Wyatt: Australia
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Wyatt by Garry Disher — A Wyatt Wareen Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: August 2011
List Price: $25.00