review: matthew condon, toe tag quintet

Some people, upon their retirement, find they like to take up volunteer work, or perhaps golf, or perhaps some recreational cane-waving at young miscreants on their lawns. One particular ex-police officer decided to skip out of crime-filled Sydney to the luxurious and relaxing Gold Coast, only to find that he’s going to be shot at, strung up and generally embroiled in trouble more during his retirement than all his years on the force.

Condon’s unnamed hero is quick with a barb but a bit slow to get off a soft couch, and reading these five tales of crimes he is inadvertently embroiled in makes for quite the entertaining read. He hasn’t even moved in properly when the first problem arises—stuck in a caravan park searching for a home while his wife packs up their Sydney house, he encounters an old foe and ends up on an island being coshed on the head by a geriatric Russian man who may or may not possess some of Australia’s most expensive art. This is just the start of an all-out entertaining book that may just make you reconsider to retiring quietly to a witness protection program instead of Lakes Entrance.

You can read a chapter for free here. Ah, the wonders of technology.

A version of this review has appeared in the Readings Monthly.