Iraqi Icicle

Bernie Dowling, Author
Bernie Dowling. Bent Banana, $14.99 paper (376p) ISBN 978-0-9872784-4-9
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In his winning debut novel—which takes its title from a variety of rose—Dowling plunges us into Australia's seedy racetrack underworld and the life of Steele Hill, an amiable young dropout who lives by the dole and his wits. Through adept plotting and juggling of time, Dowling gradually reveals Steele's immersion in daffy intrigues that create suspicions in crusty cops Frank Mooney and Bill Schmidt. Willing to fight injustice, Steele uses his street smarts to survive as the complications and bodies mount up, and he and a reclusive teen mathematical genius plot to drug a racehorse at the behest of an expatriate Russian trainer. While the narrative is at times confusing, readers will appreciate the author's ability to render colorful characters and understated witty prose.
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