The twelve crime stories in this collection by Australian writer Garry
Disher are divided into three sections. "Straight" refers to form and
style rather than subject; it includes two stories featuring art thief
Wyatt, one of Disher's regular protagonists, and one about a crooked
policeman. "Bent" contains stories where the author or the writing
process intrude, or which make fun of genre conventions. And "Barbara
Vine" offers some psychological mysteries. As a bonus, Disher includes
a brief introduction in which he talks about writing crime fiction.
Some of the stories work better than others, but none are duds.
The characters are an interesting assortment and as well developed as
is possible in short stories. And Disher conveys a good sense of place,
whether it be Melbourne, the setting of most of his stories, Australian
country towns and resorts, or in one case Venice.
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