Review | Monday 26 November 2012
Upon their retirement, some people find they like to take up volunteer work. Or perhaps golf. Or perhaps some recreational cane-waving at young miscreants. In Matthew Condon’s The Toe Tag Quintet, an ex-police officer decides to skip out of crime-filled Sydney to the Gold Coast, only to find that he’s shot at, strung up and generally entangled in more trouble during his retirement than in all his years in the force.
Condon’s unnamed hero is quick with a barb but a bit slow to get off a soft couch. When the first problem arises, he’s stuck in a caravan park, searching for a house while his wife packs up their Sydney home. He encounters an old foe and ends up on an island being coshed over 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, quite possibly, will make you want to retire quietly into a witness protection program.
Fiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly. She blogs haphazardly about movies and books (and sometimes music) and you can follow her on twitter - @readwatchtweet.