WYATT by by Garry Disher
“A getaway neednâ€™t be speedy if itâ€™s accurate and efficient.â€ť Wyatt said. â€śVanishing, thatâ€™s the thing, and that means anticipation.”
Review by Guy Savage Â (SEP 16, 2011)
Australian author Garry Disher has a solid reputation for his Inspector Challis police procedurals, but on Disherâ€™s other creative side of the law, thereâ€™s also the Wyatt series. Wyatt, a methodical, cool and collected anti-hero is a Melbourne crook, and Disherâ€™s Wyatt series is frequently considered by crime aficionados as an Aussie counterpart to Robert Parkerâ€™s Stark series. Wyatt, a heist novel, is the seventh book in the series and it appears after a 13-year-break.
Melbourne has long been known as a hot bed of police corruption, and the city was also home to the notorious Pettingill crime family. Wyatt, however, is a crook who prefers to hunt alone–except for the occasional tip, and in this novel, itâ€™s the tip that leads to trouble.
Wyatt receives inside information from a â€śfixer, an agent, a middle-manâ€ť named Eddie–a man who â€ścould sit on a half-formed plan for years until the right circumstances come along.â€ť Eddie usually provides information, and then sits out on the crime while getting a percentage of the cut. This time Eddie wants a role in the heist, and the job comes courtesy of inside information from Eddieâ€™s sexy ex-wife, Lydia. Lydia used to work for a jeweler who did business with the Furneaux brothers, Henri and Joe. Lydiaâ€™s a bright woman who was groped once too often by the brothers, and now she has some valuable information regarding the under-the-table deals conducted by the Furneaux brothers. Seems they own a large Melbourne jewelry store and make deliveries of valuable items all over Southern New South Wales. The beauty of the plan is that the Furneaux brothers fence stolen jewelry brought in from various points all over the world by their cousin, Alain Le Page. As Eddie says: â€śThatâ€™s the beauty of itâ€”we rob a robber.â€ť
Right at the planning stage of the heist, Wyatt has a feeling that thereâ€™s something not quite right. For a start, Eddie wants to be involved, and then heâ€™s bringing in his ex-wife Lydia as a crew member. Involving an ex- goes against the grain for Wyatt–after all, thereâ€™s a lot of dirty unfinished business between ex-spouses. Whoâ€™s to know whether or not one has an axe to grind against the other? In this case, Wyattâ€™s known Eddie for a long time, but heâ€™s not sure exactly what Lydiaâ€™s game is. However, Wyatt finds himself â€śrecognizing something of himself in Eddieâ€™s ex-wife. She was naturally wary and assessing, and silence was probably her natural state.â€ť But beyond feeling a grudging respect for Lydiaâ€™s intelligence, Wyatt also feels a reluctant attraction.
In spite of the fact that Wyatt intuitively senses that thereâ€™s something wrong with the heist set-up, he decides to go ahead–after all, heâ€™s down on his luck and needs to make a score.
Wyatt should have listened to his sixth senseâ€¦..
The novel makes the point that Wyatt is in many ways becoming an anachronism. Heâ€™s strictly a low-tech thief and heâ€™s finding fewer situations that accommodate his talents:
â€śWhere could a man like Wyatt lift cash these days? Money was moved around electronically. If cash was used, it was stored and protected by the kinds of high-tech security that he couldnâ€™t hope to crack or bypass, not without the help of experts and costly equipment. That left paintings and jewelry, which were also highly protected and could only be shifted by a fence whoâ€™d give you a few dollars and then sell you out.â€ť
If things donâ€™t look up for Wyatt soon, he may be left with purse-snatching as his only option.
Wyatt is a definite read for fans of heist novels. While Soho Crime publishes Disherâ€™s Inspector Challis novels, the earlier novels in the Wyatt series are out-of-print, and so Wyatt may be the first novel readers catch in the series. Much is made of the “legend” of Wyatt in the plot, and thatâ€™s hard to relate to if, like me, you havenâ€™t heard of this character before. But nonetheless, this is a well-conducted heist novel complete with corrupt coppers, a psychotic hit man, and a deranged stripper whoâ€™s parted ways with her pole.
|AMAZON READER RATING:||from 7 readers|
|PUBLISHER:||Soho Crime (August 9, 2011)|
|AVAILABLE AS A KINDLE BOOK?||YES! Start Reading Now!|
|AUTHOR WEBSITE:||Garry Disher|
|MORE ON MOSTLYFICTION:||Read our review of:|
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