Archive for 'Maloney, Shane'
NICE TRY is a Murray Whelan mystery set in Australia in 1990, when Melbourne was bidding to host the Olympics. Murray Whelan is a behind-the-scenes political worker, currently working for the Minister of Water Supply and the Arts. The book is Whelanâ€™s political party is struggling to stay in control of the government, and they think they can do it if Australia gets the Olympics. But there is a problem â€“ any hint of scandal, violence, or just about anything unpleasant could kill their chances. And a local Aboriginal activist, Buchanan Ambrose, is stirring up trouble. Because Whelan and Ambrose have history, Whelan is temporarily reassigned to keep Ambrose mollified and quiet while the Olympic Committee is in town.
While Whelan is good at finding solutions to sticky political problems, he canâ€™t fix the past. Whelan doesnâ€™t know it when he takes the job, but past events are about to affect his temporary duties. Two murders are committed for very different reasons, but both have the potential to ruin Melbourneâ€™s chances to host the Olympics. Suddenly, Whelan finds himself trying to prevent a third murder, avoid a public relations disaster â€“ and enlisting some unusual allies to the cause.
One of the things I found most interesting about this book was the character of Murray Whelan. He is a tremendously likeable and realistic character. He is almost 40, struggling to quit smoking, lose weight, and not look like a putz in front of a new and interesting woman he has met. He is desperate to spend more time with his son, who has moved away with Whelanâ€™s ex-wife, and is growing more distant from him every day. Whelan isnâ€™t a tough guy, he is an everyman. An everyman who can regard his life with a sense of humor and draw the reader into his world.
Favorite character? There are several bit players in this book who have funny moments, but I have to go with Whelan. Did I guess it? Mostly. Will I read another? Yes. This book didnâ€™t have a very mysterious plot, but the writing, characters, and the humor were all very good and I look forward to reading Maloneyâ€™s other books.
Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at http://reviewedbyliz.com Â©2007