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The Midnight Promise

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A brilliant Melbourne crime novel, told in ten hardboiled stories.  

John Dorn is a private investigator. Just like his father used to be. It says ‘private inquiry agent’ in John’s yellow pages ad because that’s what his old man called himself, back before his business folded, his wife left him and he drank himself to death. 

But John’s not going to end up like his father. He doesn’t have a wife, or much business. He doesn’t really drink, either. Not yet. 

John Dorn solves not so much crimes as funny human puzzles; but the crimes, and the criminals, are forever lurking nearby, taunting him from the city’s cold underworld. It’s his job to unravel the mystery, or right the wrong, or just do what the client has hired him to do. Somehow, though, there is a misstep at every turn, and John takes another small stumble towards his moment of personal truth. His midnight promise.

Zane Lovitt was a documentary filmmaker before turning his hand to crime fiction, and his stories have since appeared in Scribe's New Australian Stories 2 and in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. ‘Leaving the Fountainhead’ won the SD Harvey Short Story Award at the 2010 Ned Kelly Awards for Australian crime fiction. Zane lives in Melbourne.

'The Midnight Promise delivers. Zane Lovitt is a writer to watch.' Shane Maloney

'The Midnight Promise crashes straight into Temple, Corris and Chandler territory.' Australian Bookseller & Publisher

'With merrily dark observations, the gumshoe metaphors are smokin' and when things get occasionally purple (chimneys as infections anyone?), a whip-smart quip brings the focus back. In fact it's the purity, lightness and knowing humour of these cracks that lifts these stories from good to 'oh man, get me this guy's next book now!' Australian Bookseller & Publisher

'Smacking of grit and realism...The Midnight Promise is flat-out one of the most enjoyable crime books out there. Australian noir with a nod to Raymond Carver—there's lots of drinking, dark streets, and wisecracks that you'll grin like mad over. Every story is its own little world, all completely satisfying but so involving you'll put the book down wishing for more.' Readings Monthly

'The writing is crisp and sure. The cases are intriguing and believable.'  Read Plus Review

'I was totally blown away by this book. This is crime fiction at its absolute best. Zane Lovitt literally bursts on to the literary scene with this book and I can say without a doubt is destined for huge things. This is not a new writer who has potential, this is a new writer whose skill and talent just oozes out of the page. From the structure of the novel to Lovitt’s distinct style, from the black as night dark humour and cynicism to the deep recesses of human emotion and frailty this is the most original, absorbing and utterly compelling crime novel I’ve read in a long time.' Jon Page, Pages&Pages Bookstore

From Publishers Weekly

06 May 2013 – Melbourne PI John Dorn declares, in the prologue of Australian author Lovitt s powerful hard-boiled debut, You don t make promises to do what I do. He goes on to do just that over the course of 10 chapters, each involving a separate case. The cases get progressively more disturbing, both in terms of their subject matter, which include gruesome torture, and their impact on Dorn, a classic world-weary narrator ( I was parked in a narrow, forgotten kind of alley that s really an abyss between tall buildings, where it s still raining 20 minutes after it s stopped everywhere else ). The title refers to a kind of promise, according to Dorn s mother, made to get what you wanted, not one you actually ever kept. For Dorn, the promise is that his crime stories not be about him, and it takes until the very end for the reader to assess what he wanted in making it.
The Midnight Promise
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  • $13.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Crime & Thrillers
  • Published: 22 August 2012
  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
  • Seller: Text Publishing
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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