The Midnight Promise

Zane Lovitt

The Midnight Promise
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The Midnight Promise

Zane Lovitt

A brilliant Melbourne crime novel, told in ten hardboiled stories.

John Dorn is a private investigator. Just like his father used to be. It says ‘private inquiry agent’ in John’s Yellow Pages ad because that’s what his old man called himself, back before his business folded, his wife left him and he drank himself to death. But John’s not going to end up like his father. He doesn’t have a wife, or much business. He doesn’t really drink, either. Not yet.

In each of these ten delicious stories Zane Lovitt presents an intriguing investigation filled with humour and complex, beautifully observed characters. At their centre is John Dorn, solving not so much crimes as funny human puzzles; but the crimes, and the criminals, are forever lurking nearby, taunting him from the city’s cold underworld. It’s his job to unravel the mystery, or right the wrong, or just do what the client has hired him to do. Somehow, though, there is a misstep at every turn, and John takes another small stumble towards his moment of personal truth. His midnight promise. Perhaps even his redemption.


Private investigator and Melbournite John Dorn is down and out, surrounded by crooks and his own slowly disintegrating world. But John is determined, quietly honest, and smart enough to stand back and look at the reasons why crimes play out the way they do.

So we get the story of JD’s darkest days in ten tales – like the small-time criminal with guns mysteriously all over his house, the man researching his future wife, or JD’s final search for a missing teenager.

All of them challenge the reader’s views, with characters behaving unexpectedly or expecting the world to bend to them.

Zane Lovitt is a judge’s clerk and these stories are based on true cases, smacking of grit and realism, which is not to overlook the fact that The Midnight Promise is flat-out one of the most enjoyable crime books out there.

Australian noir with a nod to Raymond Carver – there’s lots of drinking, dark streets, and wisecracks that you’ll grin like mad over. Every story is its own little world, all completely satisfying but so involving you’ll put the book down wishing for more.

fiona-hardy-picFiona Hardy sells books and talks too much to customers at Readings Carlton, and puts together Dead Write for the Readings Monthly.

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