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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Reading Chris Nyst

As earlier noted, I recently enjoyed reading about Australia's most notorious bank robber Brenden Abbott in Australian Outlaw by Derek Pedley. Now, in the course of Abbott's hectic time on the run and (more pertinently) after he was caught he had cause to seek legal representation and this came in the form of Chris Nyst.

Nyst is not only a highly respected Queensland lawyer but he's a more than capable crime author (just check out the Ned Kelly Award he won for Best Crime Fiction Novel 2006 with Crook As Rookwood).

I had already read and raved about Crook As Rookwood but mention of his name compelled me to nip out and pick up copies of his other books Cop This! and Gone. I'm reading Cop This! at the moment and Nyst has obviously drawn on his vast experience as a criminal advocate setting out a deviously complex legal thriller. A feature of Nyst's writing, apart from the attention to detail with regard legal matters is the Aussie criminal slang that gives the tone of the story a unique touch.

Cop This! is set in Queensland and spans 1969 to around 1986 and features a solicitor who goes up against a corrupt pocket of police who have lined their pockets on the back of careers devoted to protection rackets and the like. The time-honoured police tradition of the 'verbal' appears like a thorn in the lawyers feet. A verbal is a contrived jailhouse confession made up by the police and was something that Brenden Abbott mentions numerous times in Australian Outlaw.

Cop This! is shaping up as a compelling courtroom thriller with a distinctly Australian flavour to it. More on Gone when I get to it, but in the meantime, take note of Chris Nyst and track down Cop This! and Crook As Rookwood if you can.

8 comments:

Peter said...

My copy of Crook As Rookwood is on the way. I shall report back when I've read it!
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Damien said...

Great Peter! I'll be most interested in reading your thoughts on it.

Peter said...

I've flipped through the opening pages, and I have two immediate favorable impressions. One is that I like Nyst's use of the dramatic prologue, a device that sometimes strikes me as gimmicky. The other is that he does a nice job squeezing a lot of complicated exposition and flashback into the opening scenes. That's not always an easy job, but I think Nyst just manages to pull it off.
===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

Damien said...

I'm about 100 pages into Gone (Nyst's 2nd book) and have realised that this is the book that introduces us to solicitor Eddie Moran. I remember he left a terrific impression in Crook As Rookwood and I'm already anticipating every scene he's in in Gone.

Peter said...

I'm about 100 pages into Crook as Rookwood now, and I'm liking it so far -- the slow buildup, the humor amid the ever-present threat of violence.

I think I'll post a comment on it soon.
===================
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Peter said...

Crook as Rookwood is a home run, or whatever the footie and cricket counterparts are; I recommend it highly. I think I'll look for Gone (Is that the title of Nyst's other novel that features Eddie Moran?)

My Crook as Rookwood comments are at http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/search/label/Chris%20Nyst
========================

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Damien said...

That's right, Nyst's first book to feature Eddie Moran is Gone.

Anonymous said...

I have read "Rookwood" and i am reading Cop This at the moment. Two words spring to mind, Absolutely Brilliant. The storyline makes you feel you are in the courtroom watching the whole thing unfold in front of you.Cant wait to read Gone.