Monday, June 27, 2016

Comfort Zone, by Lindsay Tanner

Staff review by Chris Saliba

Former Labor Member for Melbourne and Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner, makes his fiction debut with Comfort Zone, a gritty inner-city crime novel with heart.

Jack Van Duyn is a middle-aged cab driver. Single and childless, with few if any real friends, he lives alone in his crusty flat and tries to blame his misery on others: refugees and the unmerited rich. Life has left Jack behind and he thinks himself a loser. However, things are about to change. One day he picks up a young hotshot banker, Matthew Richards. The two witness two Somali kids getting attacked. Jack and Matt intervene to help. The mother, Farhia, is close by and Jack finds himself mesmerised by her beauty. As Jack tries to help Farhia out, he gets drawn into the complicated world of Somali politics. Meanwhile, he faces trouble on another front: Matt, the young banker, drags him into the gritty underworld of drug dealers.

Lindsay Tanner's debut is an entertaining crime novel set in Carlton, full of local colour. While it's essentially a crime yarn, Comfort Zone is also a sympathetic portrait of a middle-aged man that society has left behind, but who manages to find his better self through acts of kindness.

Comfort Zone, by Lindsay Tanner. Published by Scribe. ISBN: 9781925321029  RRP: $29.99

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