Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “An Iron Rose” as Want to Read:
An Iron Rose
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

An Iron Rose

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  496 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
"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 ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2007 by Quercus
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about An Iron Rose, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about An Iron Rose

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Respected local farmer Ned Lowey is found hanging dead in his shed by his grandson Lew, who calls his friend Mac for help. A former Federal Police officer, Mac can’t believe that Ned would kill himself, and begins an unofficial investigation. Meanwhile the local cops suspect both Mac and Lew may have killed Ned for the inheritance.

Mac goes through Ned’s business records and finds that he had previous involvement with the nearby girls’ reform school, Kinross Hall, for some years until 1983. The
Rebecca McNutt
Jan 30, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, mystery, fiction
Fantastic crime novel; An Iron Rose is thrilling and original right from the first page and has a lot of depth.
Feb 07, 2010 notgettingenough rated it really liked it
Sex, humour, story, characters all up to scratch.

p. 103

’Pure animal, some vets,’ I said.
She smiled at me. ‘This one comes on like he’s got a Rottweiler stuffed down the front of his jeans.’
‘Probably a Jack Russell thinks it’s a Rottweiler.’
‘It’s not the size of the bit that counts.’
‘What counts?’
‘How long they gnaw at you’


Flannery was in one of the sheds working under the hood of a Holden ute by the light of a portable hand lamp. The vehicle was covered in stickers saying things like Toot
Nov 28, 2010 Eric_W rated it really liked it
Ex-DS Mac Faraday is now working as a blacksmith when Ned, an old friend, ostensibly commits suicide and Ned’s mother asks Faraday to look into it. Discovering more than he wished to know, bodies begin to accumulate and it’s beginning to look like Ned was not whom Mac thought. Why did Ned keep press cuttings about the skeleton of a girl found in an old mine shaft? Who was the girl found naked beside a lonely road? And why were another girl and her boyfriend later found dead supposedly a ...more
Jun 13, 2008 Dorian rated it really liked it
I've raved about Peter Temple before. I still prefer the Jack Irish series, but this is a really good one, with blacksmithing replacing the cabinetry of those books. (Maybe that sounds weird, but Temple's interest is never only on the particular case.) There's a nice subplot about gardens, too, which is a new way for Temple to introduce his continual interest in Australia's past.

Temple is a a wonderfully laconic writer, not in the (more mannered way of, say, Hemingway), but in a way that's clear
Lily Mulholland
I loved this book! This is exactly the type of book I would like to be able to write and fear I may never! Dry, acerbic, witty, droll, Mac is the kind of protagonist I enjoy reading about and I simply did not want this book to end. All too soon it did and didn't Peter Temple wrap up the story threads with such great skill? A very admirable Australian crime story. Loved it, loved it, loved it.

(Oh yes, and the best sex scene I've read in a very long time and it took a fella to write it!!)
Totally entertaining with great characters, a really suspenseful plot, and a tight economical writing style which transported me to rural Australia. Listened to the audio version which was wonderfully read by Marco Chiappi.
Ystyn Francis
Feb 16, 2012 Ystyn Francis rated it it was amazing
Peter Temple is a cracking good read. I love the detailed nuances of small-town country life in Australia clashing with the horrible crime of the big cities as it leaks from the suburbs of Melbourne into the unassuming Victorian outback. It is dark, riveting stuff.
Stephen Kimber
Apr 03, 2012 Stephen Kimber rated it it was amazing
Liked this one almost as much as The Broken Shore. he's got parts of rural Victoria nailed; climatically, socially and in terms of its yearning for Melbourne.
Oct 23, 2016 Hermien rated it really liked it
Has a very Australian feel to it. I love Peter Temple's sense of humour.
Feb 10, 2014 Ed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Crime fiction fans
What a terrific story. I am reminded what an accomplished author Peter Temple is. I finished this book in one day of traveling.

The story, which takes place in rural Southeastern Australia, features Mac Farraday, a retired Federal Detective and current blacksmith. The story opens with the hanging death of Mac's best friend, Ned Lowe. As the plot unfolds, Mac looks into Ned's background and becomes convinced it wasn't a suicide as the local police are quick to label it.

The plot thickens, as the po
Dillwynia Peter
Jun 23, 2013 Dillwynia Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this 4.5 stars.

This is such a fun thriller - full of pace and action. It also has a humourous as one comes to expect from a Jack Irish book. Oh, wait a minute,this ISN'T a Jack Irish story & here lies the rub!!

The main character is way too close to Jack Irish & thus why I took 1/2 a star off. The narrative works just fine, but the parallels are just too close. Jack is into furniture making, Mac is a blacksmith; Jack has contacts thru this old job of being a lawyer, Mac has old
This is Temple's second novel after his first book which featured Jack Irish. Temple may have well then chosen to continue with Irish as this book's hero Mac Faraday seems to have killed off all his enemies of his previous life as a Federal policeman, won the heart of a woman and won a grand final.
There is a lot of similarities between the two characters - rogues, attractive to women, AFL, professionals who dabble in tradework (in this case as a blacksmith), horse racing, a willingness to work o
Guy Salvidge
Jan 23, 2014 Guy Salvidge rated it it was amazing
This starts a little slowly but Temple writes so well I can forgive him and I'm glad I did, because the book is incredibly good once it gets going. Mac Faraday is an ex-AFP cop and now a blacksmith. His friend Ned is found hanged on page one and this leads to a mystery regarding a young woman found dead more than a decade previously. Temple writes in a rich, melanchony style I find most pleasing. As if it isn't enough to write an intelligent crime story, he cranks up the action about a million ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Rod rated it really liked it
Temple knows how to write 'Australian'. His books - and this is no exception - are thick with Aussie atmosphere, be it the descriptions of the countryside, the cities, the people or the language. An Iron Rose is a taught crime thriller, with a dry Aussie wit throughout. The dialogue (and there is plenty of it) is spot on - I can picture the guys in the pub, hear them, almost taste the beer. The story kicks off suddenly but then takes a little time to develop, as does our appreciation of the ...more
Titus G
Apr 11, 2016 Titus G rated it it was ok
Another implausible tale but more formulaic and too predictable compared to all his other books which I have enjoyed much more than this. Blacksmith and landscape gardener's assistant investigates friend's apparent suicide which turns into an unravelling of a web of improbable evil involving his own failed-to-solve cases in his previous life whilst his gardening successes prove rewarding in many ways including as backdrop to yet another impossible action sequence and also whilst his Australian ...more
Deborah Burrows
Sep 08, 2013 Deborah Burrows rated it really liked it
This is more 4.5 stars. It's the sort of book I'd love to write. I love his spare style, acerbic wit, his compassion for the the less fortunate in our society, the effortless use of Australian slang, the way he 'gets' Australian social mores. It's a dark story, but well told. He's able to introduce interesting irrelevancies such as blacksmithing, or gardening archaeology in a way that is interesting but doesn't interfere with the pace - and that's really difficult to do well. He's also able to ...more
Nick Davies
Jan 30, 2016 Nick Davies rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. Having read the opening fifty to sixty pages, in which nothing happened and I developed no interest in the plot or characters, I gave up. The style might be described as 'punchy', and I've liked other books with short sentences, but this became jarring quickly and all the author seemed to have done was introduce some characters who were hard to care about, demonstrate that research on ironmongery and gardening had been done, and confuse the reader with disconnected oblique statements about ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Peter Temple's "An Iron Rose" tells the story of Mac Farraday, a former police officer haunted by violent death who wants nothing more than a quiet life as a blacksmith, but who finds it's anything but quiet when he investigates the suspicious hanging of a family friend. Sifting through ever-deepening layers of corruption, Mac's old life intrudes viciously into his present day calm.

By turns funny, frightening, tender, erotic and deeply disturbing, the book hooked me from the beginning. Like Ian
Sep 12, 2011 Jon rated it really liked it
this is a solid 4.5. i am dishing out too much 5 star action, so i'll knock half a point off just coz. love the atmosphere in this book. v melbourne winter. the plot is great, plenty of twists. the sex is also great. really, really well described. i like the tough simplicity of the writing & the haunted scenery. a real talent. look forward to reading more of Temple's stuff.
Jan 03, 2016 Sandra rated it it was amazing
This bloke can do no wrong in my opinion. A joy to read, punchy and poetic, some fabulous phrases, laconic dialogue against life-threatening situations; gardening, blacksmiths and sex. Wonderful stuff.

Now I need to re-read to find out how he does it, because I sure as hell would like to write like this.
Jul 07, 2011 Jillo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very entertaining. and such a good writer. i have enjoyed all his books particularly the jack irish - cos i used to live in the area he writes about in melbourne - but this is a bit different. AND blacksmithing - how many books have a blacksmith as a central character? and doesnt everyone dream about being one. loved the woman blacksmithing character
Feb 12, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I struggled a little with the Australian use of language in a couple of the chapters but I wanted so much to find out what happened at the end that I had to read on. I'll look out for more of his novels.
Randal White
Apr 09, 2015 Randal White rated it liked it
Three and a half stars. This was a good read - enjoyable and a great story. It was clearly not as good as his later work in the Broken Shore and Truth, but similar themes were evident in the Iron Rose. Peter Temple knows how to spin a great quality Australian crime/noir story.
Fun, though aspects of his style - one typical of the genre - annoyed. Still, I suspect I will read more by Peter Temple. He writes well and plots competently and interestingly and credibly; all qualities which can be rate in this genre.
Nov 08, 2012 Tom rated it it was amazing
Another excellent dark tale - deft place settings, sharp funny terse dialogue. A retired policeman's dark past comes back to haunt him.

Temple is excellent on slowly unravelling old dark mysteries, corruption and badness by elites.
Nov 14, 2012 Kyra rated it really liked it
Not as gritty and tight as his more recent crime novels, but who cares. I don't read Peter Temple for the 'mystery'; I read Peter Temple for the fascinating characters and the intriguing back story. Has this guy ever written a "bad" book ? Love him!
Jun 02, 2016 Edward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detectives
I enjoyed this book - great commute read, the conversations were sometimes challenging to follow due to the format and punctuation, but the characters were well-done and I enjoyed the story. Will look for other titles in the series.
Warren Olson
Nov 13, 2013 Warren Olson rated it it was amazing
As usual, Temples writing, depth of character and fast moving plots are all superb. If you like tales with an Australian background, read anything by Temple, you cant go wrong!
Jan 19, 2008 Vanda rated it it was amazing
Great book. Loved the characterisation and the Aussieness of it. Mac, the protagonist's voice is one of a kind.
Highly recommended as a crime thriller.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Hell to Pay
  • Black Wattle Creek (Charlie Berlin, #2)
  • Stiff (Murray Whelan, #1)
  • Beams Falling
  • The Midnight Promise
  • Last Drinks
  • Prime Cut
  • Web of Deceit (Detective Ella Marconi #6)
  • Bring Larks And Heroes
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Temple is an Australian crime fiction writer.

Formerly a journalist and journalism lecturer, Temple turned to fiction writing in the 1990s. His Jack Irish novels (Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point, and White Dog) are set in Melbourne, Australia, and feature an unusual
More about Peter Temple...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »