The Coast Road (Cliff Hardy series) by Peter Corris

By Peter Corris

Cliff Hardy trades the suggest streets of Sydney for the Illawarra escarpment, a rugged undeveloped region of Australia, during this most modern hard-boiled detective novel. First employed by means of the daughter of the overdue, filthy rich Frederick Farmer to enquire his mysterious and fiery demise, Hardy is then referred to as in on a moment case—the disappearance of the younger daughter of Marisha Karatsky, an unique, dark-eyed interpreter who will get less than Hardy's thick dermis. Questionable coverage brokers and feral bikers around out the colourful forged as Hardy battles via own turmoil at the street to justice.

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There were chairs for clients, a flat screen television, a VCR, a rack of videos and magazines and prints on the walls that advertised what was on sale here. The woman remained seated. She was a redhead, at least for now, with a wide, flat face, strong jaw and an oddly small mouth. She wore a rollneck sweater with a heavy gold chain hanging between her impressive breasts. ’ Careful vowels and consonants, a small smile from the small mouth, a semi-welcoming gesture of the hands. ‘Good afternoon.

Pity, nothing better than heating up the kitchen on a cold country morning by getting the stove going. I remembered holidays in Katoomba with friends of my parents and my city-dwelling father clumsily wielding the axe and hatchet to get the kindling and stove wood. Everything cooked was fried and tasted terrific . . ’ The voice came from a woman who’d approached from the south side without me hearing her. Too busy reminiscing. She was tall and slender in a heavy sweater, corduroy pants and gumboots.

Meet me? He’d buy me a drink, several drinks. The hotel was down near the railway station. It was old-fashioned with the stylised beer advertisements showing flappers and men in flannels still in place, though badly faded. You could almost see the ghosts of the weary travellers who’d trudged up the steps from the sunken station to find comfort there. For the time of day there was good activity in the bar of the old kind—drinking and yarning—rather than the new sort—pool and pokies. Lucas had described himself as stunningly handsome with a body like a Greek god.

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