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Peter Temple books in order

Peter Temple was an Australian multiple award-winning author of mystery, thriller and crime fiction novels.

He is known for writing the Jack Irish novels and The Broken Shore (2005), which have all received film adaptations.

Originally from South Africa, he relocated to Germany with his wife in 1977 due to his strong opposition of the apartheid regime.

Temple then moved to Australia after two years in order to take up a role as an education editor at the Sydney Morning Herald, before later becoming a journalism lecturer at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst.

In 1982, he relocated to Melbourne to become the editor of the magazine Australian Society. Afterward, he went back to teaching at RMIT, before eventually making the switch to full-time writing.

The recipient of multiple awards, including the Miles Franklin award and the Gold Dagger for Truth and The Broken Shore respectively, Temple died on 8 March, 2018 after a brief battle with cancer.

He was 71.

More about Peter Temple

Genres: Crime Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1946 / Died: 2018


Non Series

  • Shooting Star (1999)
  • An Iron Rose (1998)
  • Identity Theory (2002)

Broken Shore

  1. The Broken Shore (2005)
  2. Truth (2009)


  1. The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish (2020)

Jack Irish

  1. Bad Debts (1996)
  2. Black Tide (2000)
  3. Dead Point (2000)
  4. White Dog (2004)


  1. Ithaca in My Mind (2012)

Omnibus Books

  1. Broken Shore / In The Evil Day / Iron Rose (2008)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Shooting Star

Anne Carson: fifteen, beautiful, wayward. Abducted.

The rich Carsons have closed ranks and summoned Frank Calder, subject to strict instructions. This is not the first kidnapping in the Carson family and hard lessons have been learned.

But are the two events connected? And is greed the motivation? Revenge? Or could it be something else? To find out, Frank Calder must go beyond his brief.

And his every step into the darkness may end a girl's life.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 1999
ISBN: 978-1921351389
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
An Iron Rose

'When men in police uniforms came to execute me on the roadside, beside dark fields, it was a definite sign that my new life was over.' 

A regular at the local pub, a mainstay of the footy team, Mac Faraday is a man with a past living the quiet life of a country blacksmith. But when his best friend Ned Lowey is found hanged, Mac - who has learned the hard way never to accept things at face value - isn't convinced he committed suicide and starts asking questions. 

Why did Ned keep press cuttings about the skeleton of a girl found in an old mine shaft? What was he doing at Kinross Hall, the local detention centre for juvenile girls? Who was the beaten girl found naked beside a lonely road? 

As Mac's search for answers pushes deeper into the past, it resurrects the terrifying spectre of what he calls his 'old life', forcing him to turn to long-discarded skills not only to discover why his best friend died, but also to save his own life.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 1998
ISBN: 978-0857383525
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Identity Theory

John Anselm is a struggling intelligence dealer whose business is information, Con Niemand is a tough ex-mercenary whose business is surviving, and Caroline Wishart is an exposé journalist whose business until now has been the sex lives of British politicians. Their paths collide when they all stumble across a secret terrible enough to destroy lives and topple governments.

Against his will, Anselm is plunged into a world of violence, betrayal, and death. He must break out of his anesthetized life and pit himself against forces that he does not understand, forces determined to rebury an atrocity that threatens reputations and lives across the globe, while Niemand is hunted across two continents by people he doesn’t know.

NB: This book is also known as In the Evil Day.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-1596921825
Publisher: Lawson Library

Broken Shore

The Broken Shore

Shaken by a scrape with death, big-city detective Joe Cashin is posted away from the Homicide Squad to the quiet town on the South Australian coast where he grew up. Carrying physical scars and more than a little guilt, he spends his time playing the country cop, walking his dogs, and thinking about how it all was before. 

But when a prominent local is attacked in his own home and left for dead, Cashin is thrust into what becomes a murder investigation. The evidence points to three boys from the nearby aboriginal community—everyone seems to want to blame them. Cashin is unconvinced, and soon begins to see the outlines of something far more terrible than a burglary gone wrong.

The Broken Shore
Director: Rowan Woods
Cast: Don Hany, Claudia Karvan, Anthony Hayes, Erik Thomson, Dan Wyllie, Tony Briggs, Wayne Blair, Catherine McClements, Robyn Nevin, Noni Hazlehurst, Ralph Cotterill
Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-0312427863
Publisher: Picador

Inspector Stephen Villani, head of homicide in Melbourne, Australia, has a full agenda: a murdered woman in a penthouse apartment, three men butchered in a sadistic rampage, a tattoo-faced drug dealer corrupting his rebellious daughter, a crumbling marriage. 

As these seemingly unrelated events begin to unfold, Villani finds himself immersed in an unfamiliar world of political scandal and ethical ambiguity. He must navigate the inept bureaucracy that is the police department, all the while maintaining a solid front and trying to keep the press, his family, and his own past from breaking him completely. With each twist and every turn of this taut crime novel, Villani is forced to question whom he can trust.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-1847243836
Publisher: Quercus Publishing


The Red Hand: Stories, Reflections and the Last Appearance of Jack Irish

Peter Temple started publishing novels late, when he was 50, but then he got cracking. He wrote nine novels in 13 years. Along the way he wrote screenplays, stories, dozens of reviews. When he died in March 2018, there was an unfinished Jack Irish novel in his drawer. It is included in The Red Hand, and it reveals the master at the peak of his powers. The Red Hand also includes the screenplay of Valentine’s Day, an improbably delightful story about an ailing country football club, which in 2007 was adapted for television by the ABC. Also included are his short fiction, his reflections on the Australian idiom, a handful of autobiographical fragments, and a selection of his brilliant book reviews.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1922268273
Publisher: Text Publishing Company

Jack Irish

Bad Debts

Melbourne in winter. Rain. Wind. Pubs. Beer. Sex. Corruption. Murder.

A phone message from ex-client Danny McKillop doesn’t ring any bells for Jack Irish. Life is hard enough without having to dredge up old problems: his beloved football team continues to lose, the odds on his latest plunge at the track seem far too long and he’s still cooking for one.

But then Danny turns up dead and Jack has to take a walk back into the dark and dangerous past.

Jack Irish: Bad Debts
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Cast: Guy Pearce, Marta Dusseldorp, Aaron Pedersen, Roy Billing, Damien Richardson, Shane Jacobson, Vadim Glowna, Colin Friels, Steve Bisley, Emma Booth, Debra Lawrance, Fletcher Humphrys
Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 1996
ISBN: 978-1596921290
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage
Black Tide

Jack Irish - lawyer, gambler, part-time cabinetmaker, finder of missing people - is recovering from a foray into the criminal underworld when he agrees to look for the son of an old workmate of his father's. It's an offer he soon has cause to regret, as the trail of Gary Connors leads him into the world of Steven Levesque, millionaire and political kingmaker. The more Jack learns about Levesque's powerful corporation, the more convinced he becomes that at its heart lies a secret. What he's destined to find out is just how deadly that secret is...

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-1925773309
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
Dead Point

It takes a lot to rattle Jack Irish but, as Melbourne descends into a cold, wet winter, his mood is on the same trajectory. The woman in Jack’s life has reconnected with an old flame. He has gambled and lost massively and seen a champion horse put down. It’s not surprising that Jack’s mind is not fully on the job he’s being paid to do: find Robbie Colburne, occasional barman. 

But when Jack does get serious, he finds the freelance drink-dispenser is of great interest to some powerful people, people with very bad habits and a distinct lack of respect for the criminal justice system…Any lapse in concentration could prove fatal.

Jack Irish: Dead Point
Director: Jeffrey Walker
Cast: Guy Pearce, Marta Dusseldorp, Aaron Pedersen, Roy Billing, Shane Jacobson, Deborah Mailman, Vince Colosimo, Kat Stewart, Barry Humphries, Dominic Allburn, John Jarratt
Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-1925773316
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
White Dog

Jack Irish-gambler, cook and cabinetmaker, finder of people who don't want to be found-has a new job, hunting for evidence that might save the beautiful sculptor Sarah Longmore from a murder rap. Jack soon discovers there was nothing straightforward about Mickey Franklin's death, and falls headlong into a world of shady deals, sexual secrets and country rednecks.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-1925773323
Publisher: Text Publishing Company


Ithaca in My Mind

On a lazy summer morning, ageing author Vincent Duncan takes an unsettling phone call from his literary agent. Peter Temple indulges his humorous side in this scathingly brilliant portrayal of a writer past his peak.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B007TGJDVU
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Omnibus Books

Broken Shore / In The Evil Day / Iron Rose

The Broken Shore: A convalescing homicide detective returns to his hometown only to find his recovery interrupted by a case that leaves him standing alone, fighting against corruption and prejudice. In the 

Evil Day: Five people lie dead on the floor of a fortified Johannesburg mansion. In his hands the solitary survivor holds his death warrant. Powerful men - and powerful nations will kill to keep to keep the video tape in Con Niemand's grasp buried. The tape and the man must be erased...

An Iron Rose: When country blacksmith Mac Farraday's best friend is found hanging, the assumption is he's committed suicide. But Mac is far from convinced: he's a man who has learned - the hard way - never to accept things at face value.

Author: Peter Temple
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-1905204724
Publisher: Text Publishing Company