“Like any cop, I’ve seen enough evil to believe in the category. Or at least suspend my belief in it, on a practical, daily level.” says Rick Zadow, the protagonist of Peter Goldsworthy’s MINOTAUR, an existential super sensory detective story.
Bull headed Detective Sergeant Rick Zadow has been left blind by a bullet to his brain-pan and is caught in a battle between two shrinks as to how much compo he is entitled to.
His medico Mrs., Willow, has left him and his hermitage is shared by his guide dog, Scout, in peril of being repossessed by the appropriate authority, and his voice controlled personal assistant, Siri.
The relationship between the sightless sleuth and his cyber secretary provide much of the comic that runs through this Adelaide set neo-noir.
Conversely, the serious side of MINOTAUR is shouldered by his sessions with a psychiatrist known as The Prof.
Suffering early onset inertia, slovenly, smelly, sarcastic, Zadow is a misery guts, and, as misery loves company, right on cue and with due diligence, it walks up to the door in the form of his ex partner in the police force, bearing the bare faced truth that the perpetrator responsible for his loss of sight has escaped from incarceration.
Zads, as Rick is affectionately known as, is a crumpled Camel smoking shamus with a chip on his shoulder and a mote in his eye, just itching to smote the vision extinguishing villain – an eye for an eye and all that Biblical brouhaha- to cast out the beam from the thug’s own eye.
Despite its classical pre-Christian title, MINOTAUR is awash with Biblical allusion, both Old and New Testament. The bikie gang Zads infiltrated is called the Golgothans, for instance, and his undercover work sees him running their prostitution ring, becoming somewhat of a saviour to the girls.
And, like the Bible, MINOTAUR is certainly a tale of revenge, retribution and redemption.
Revenge becomes a bloody renovation, nail guns at six paces, glue guns at closer quarters.
Looking can get in the way of seeing but in Peter Goldsworthy’s blind man’s buff, a vision splendid is revealed in lyrical, literate layers, in language that is larrikin laureate.
MINOTAUR by Peter Goldsworthy is published by Penguin Viking.