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Straight Jacket

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  26 reviews
If God is too indifferent, or too non-existent to take care of His creation, then clearly it's up to Me.
Morgen Tanjenz is a lawyer with an overactive sense of justice. His mission in life is to reward the virtuous, punish the ignorant and avenge those who won't avenge themselves. His favourite pastime is 'life sculpture' anonymously intervening in the lives of strangers t
Paperback, 277 pages
Published August 7th 2013 by Adrian Deans (first published August 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Straight Jacket is the third novel by Australian lawyer, journalist and novelist, Adrian Deans. Lawyer Morgen Tanjenz is confident his psychometric evaluation (tedious in the extreme, but apparently necessary) is going well and his appointment as head of the Compliance Division for Gulliman Cross will soon be confirmed. He feels he has certainly earned this promotion, after the lengths he has had to go to, to secure it.

Despite being undermined by both his superior and his staff, Detective Serge
This book was entirely not what I expected it to be, and I'm so happy that it was recommended to me; not being the kind of book I normally seek out, being open to new things once again proves to be a worthwhile adventure in the making as I just couldn't put this down once I got to the last 25%.

I started this book absolutely hating the main character and wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I didn't know how I was going to end up getting involved in a book where I so desperately wanted the pers
Alyssa ♡
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is not really the type of book I usually read, but I could not put it down! I also felt compelled to leave a review! (I never do these.)

This book is dark, twisted, humorous, and sets you through a full range of emotions by the time it is complete. I started this immediately hating the main character and wondering how I was going to get through this, but I was completely sucked in and could not put it down! This book raises some really intriguing thoughts and philosophical questions. My fav
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up on a whim without too much thought and how glad I am that I did. I usually steer away from books based in my home town as I love the escapism that comes from reading about a setting so far from my own.

But this book is written with such a deft sense of observation and sensory feel for the landscape and its inhabitants, that I felt the satisfaction of transportation even though the setting is less than 20 kms from my home. Super impressed!

The characters are as multidimension
Violet Laflamme
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Huh. Hard to say exactly what I thought of this book, it's certainly not what I normally read, but I did enjoy it.

What I liked:

The style of writing got to the point, generally. I really appreciated that because it let you really sink into it along with the character when things were slowed down and described more thoroughly. It's easy to dislike the main character (especially early on) but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment.

Some of the lines in the book were surprisingly funny, and some t
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a read! It's not often a book lives up to the hype on the cover, and Straight Jacket certainly didn't disappoint. From the beginning right through to the last page this had me hooked.
I have favourite books which I often re-read from time to time, but this is the first time I have read a book, then immediately returned to the beginning to re-read it.
I found the protagonist Morgen Tanjenz almost lovable albeit in a DS Robertson/Filth kind of way and as the story grows, so too does Tanjenz's
Jun 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020, book-club
It's been a long time since I read a book and detested every character in it, and even though that was the case with this story, I found I could never put it down. Usually disliking all of the main characters in a book turns me off it, but in this case I really wanted to know what these horrible people were up to and found myself reading this book faster than most. There's a certain level of satisfaction in reading about the lives of such despicable characters.

There was a mystery in this novel
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A really fascinating book. Kept me guessing to the end and still gives me a lot to think about. Can’t get Morgen out of my head. Loved the imagery of the Australian bush as described by Deans throughout the book, as it led me further into the mystery and intrigue of the book. Very highly recommended as a good holiday book and one to have on the bedside table as the next book to read.
Michelle Harries
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this down. The main character, lawyer Morgen Tanjenz, is richly complex and disturbingly intriguing. The interaction of a collection of characters from all walks of life makes this book hard to put down. I always enjoy a good crime novel and this one does not disappoint. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have just read this book for the second time.
My rating doesnt do this book justice, I wish I could rate it higher. It was already one of the best books I had ever read and my second read confirmed in my mind that it really is a fantastic book.
The first half sets the stage for a wonderful cast of terrible people and the second half confirms they are terrible people, but ones you cant stop reading about.
It is a gripping story that is hard to put down once you hit the final third. The setting is
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Something about STRAIGHT JACKET could make some readers a little uncomfortable. Not the serial killing aspect in this case - although the idea that there is a killer lurking in the bush that inserts itself into the Sydney suburbs isn't a welcome one. Certainly not a killer that sends victims fingers in the mail. It's more disconcerting that Morgen Tanjenz's idea of 'life sculpture' makes sense, dare we suggest, appeals. The idea that you could, with enough money and resources, dispense your conc ...more
Adam May
Sep 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A rollicking read! Compelling and bleakly amusing!

Morgan is a clinically intelligent avenger (or deceiver)of justice - a sort of Waugh like Saint/Bond meets Humbert Humbert (without those obvious connotations). Probably not a typical North Shore kind of guy really but the place clearly pumps through his veins as do an abundance of sex and drugs.

I loved the first/third person transitions and the crafting of time from the beginning to end. The multilayered narratives all come together delightfully
Sep 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had previously read Deans book Them which prompted me to pick up a copy of his new book Straight Jacket.

Straight Jacket is a different style of book to Them. It is certainly a page turner!

I was intrigued by the main character, Morgen's penchant for "life sculpture" and I have to confess at times I admired the creative ways that he affected other people's lives(without them knowing).

The various sub plots are woven together so that the tension rises as the book reaches it's unexpected conclusio
Matthew White
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Adrian Deans is clearly a twisted person, and he lets it all go here. But there's something gleeful in his venom too, and, at heart, it's the story of a very creative character looking for a suitable outlet. The themes are big and powerful, the characters work for the story, and the intrigue drips from every page. My only quibble would be the ending - I guess I was expecting something bigger and more horrific. But that's just me - it was still a good ending!
Sheryl Nadan
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What an impressive and fascinating book! It takes the genre of thrillers to another level. And Morgen Tanjenz, a character that you love to hate. "He's evil...pure evil". Dean's style is portrayed through dark comical and sexual undertones, which keeps the reader intrigued right to the very end with a very unexpected and surprise ending. A must read!
Brigitte Marie
Jan 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author writes well ... At first the book was a bit of a chore to read, but as I pushed on, was quite a twisted read ... Ending is a bit messy, I mean, I think I know who is responsible for the murders, but so much remains unexplained ! Overall, I love a good, twisted thriller and this is one of them
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I know the author - a past colleague - so was naturally curious. It was a great read - unpredictable, gripping and well written. It would make a great movie. I found it easy to imagine all the scenes, as it's set in a familiar environment and the characters were so well portrayed.
Looking forward to reading some more of Adrian's work.
Kelly Butler
Jul 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
fascinating - a random library pick, I was lured by a blurb that compared it to both 'American Pyscho' and 'Trainspotting'. Chilling portrait of Sydney's north shore through the eyes of a 'psycho' with a 'creative' bent
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a read! Kept me guessing to the end, and now that I'm done I'm sad it's over. Very glad I picked it up.
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Really great read, exploring the Sydney underbelly in a funny edgy way, with a great twist.
Lindy D'mellow
Apr 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I decided to read this book because someone had mentioned it in a Facebook group i belong to in the area I grew up in, in Sydney. So I thought it would have more environmental reminders of the North Shore but it didn’t, so I was a little disappointed and only read it lightly. That said I thought the second half of the book was more interesting and compelling and I wanted to find out what happened, but I did not like the main character at all.
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got really into it and had to find out what happened! Very enjoyable.
Aug 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is an edgy crime novel set in Sydney – dark and interspersed with moments of humour. The protagonist and other characters are quirky and believable, a twist from the usual crime novel characterisations. And what’s with the cicada on the book cover…and the reference throughout to these insects prominent in the Sydney-scape in summer?

Deans once again has enthralled his readers with his dark sense of humour and unusual perspectives. A book for those willing to explore difference and open to th
Hannah Morton
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I know the author personally so was thrilled when I was given this book (signed by the author) for Christmas. I found Adrian's writing intriguing and intense. I enjoyed the character development however I struggled to connect with Morgan and Clair as I found them difficult to understand there motive (like how completely twisted Morgan is with screwing around people's life?!?) however I found this interesting and gave the read more of a twist. I loved the connections between the characters and I ...more
David Lumley
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I ended up not wanting it to finish! It's a difficult book to pigeonhole - crime? Drama? Psychological thriller? It has dark sexual undertones and some startlingly flawed, yet strangely familiar characters. Once the characters and plot lines connect, it's a real race to the finish. Without giving anything away, when it finishes, you still want more.
Sep 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have followed this writer’s career with interest and that interest has now paid off in spades.

His earlier work showed great promise but Straight Jacket is the full flowering of an amazing talent. I absolutely hated getting to the end of this book, and am almost ready to read it again straight away.


Just wow!
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May 21, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jun 28, 2020
Andrew Farrell
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Aug 27, 2013
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Reader Questions and Considerations (beware spoilers) 1 8 Oct 11, 2019 05:49PM  
Aussie Readers: Straight Jacket is in the airports! 24 47 Jul 09, 2014 03:13AM  

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Adrian Deans is a lawyer, journalist and novelist. He has been writing seriously for 25 years and in that time has seen his darkly comic speculative fiction stories gradually morph into darkly comic crime - and those were the stories finally accepted for publication. His novels, Mr Cleansheets (Vulgar Press, 2010) and Straight Jacket (High Horse, 2013) received some critical acclaim and Straight J ...more

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