Deep Water, by Peter Corris

We were walking south along King Street when my mobile rang. I listened and broke into a run.

‘What?’ Hank said as he loped along beside me.

I stumbled, fought for balance. ‘Megan. She’s been attacked.’

After his last case saw his partner Lily murdered and his private detective licence cancelled, Cliff Hardy decides to spend some time in the US. But, while he is there, he has a heart attack and a quadruple bypass. While he is recovering he meets Australian nurse Margaret McKinley, whose father has disappeared. Back in Sydney, Hardy gets his old friend Hank Batchelor to take on the case though, in spite of his no longer being licensed, it is Hardy who takes the lead.

Margaret’s father, geologist Henry McKinley’s disappearance seems linked to his research into a possible solution to Sydney’s water crisis. With his disappearance, all details of where and how the massive Sydney basin aquifer could be tapped have been lost, but there are parties who will stop at nothing to unearth that information. Once again Hardy’s life is at risk as he tries to uncover the truth – but this time his daughter Megan’s life is also under threat as she works alongside her father.

Deep Water is the latest in the Cliff Hardy series and, in spite of Hardy’s lack of a PI licence, sees him up to many of his old tricks – getting himself into just as many scrapes in the search for the truth. At the same time, Hardy’s vulnerable side is on show in this instalment, as he deals with his mortality, the death of Lily and his relationship with his daughter.

A satisfying addition to the series.

Deep Water

Deep Water, by Peter Corris
Allen & Unwin, 2009

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