Saving Billie, by Peter Corris

When Cliff Hardy does a mate a favour and takes on a gig as a bouncer at a high-society gig, he doesn’t expect it to lead him to his next case. But when he gets journalist Louise Kramer out of a tight situation, Hardy soon finds himself hired by Kramer to locate a missing person. Kramer is working on an expose of a media big-wheel, and one of her sources was Billie Marchant, a junkie and stripper, who has gone missing.

Soon, Hardy has tracked Billie down to the South-West of Sydney, but finding her could be the easy part. Saving her from those who are supposedly looking after her, and keeping her out of trouble could be more than Hardy expects. He needs to negotiate the way through some sinister obstacles – including rival media figures, Billie’s rocky relationship with her sister, and a client who unexpectedly turns up dead. In the end, Hardy has to wonder if saving Billie is really worth the trouble.

Saving Billie is the latest instalment in the 27-title Cliff Hardy series and is a fast-moving detective novel with the wry first-person voice of the hard-boiled detective. Fans of the series will appreciate this offering. Those who haven’t come across Cliff Hardy previously will not find it difficult to get to know the hero or follow his life.

Good stuff.

Saving Billie, by Peter Corris
Allen & Unwin, 2005