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An Iron Rose

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  701 Ratings  ·  74 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 accep ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published 2007 by Quercus (first published 1998)
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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 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery, crime
Fantastic crime novel; An Iron Rose is thrilling and original right from the first page and has a lot of depth.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Iron Rose is about friendship and loyalty. Mac Faraday through his life as an investigator until his friend was found hang in his shed. Mac Faraday did not believe that his friend committed suicide this started him to ask questions. Readers of An Iron Rose will follow the twist and turns of Mac Faraday investigation. Also, readers of An Iron Rose will be surprised with the ending of this book.

An Iron Rose is the first book I have read of Peter Temple, and I enjoy it. An Iron Rose will not be
An Iron Rose was my first foray with Peter Temple

And it definitely won't be my last.

"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."

That was the promo sentence that drew me in.

When ex-Fed detective Mac Faraday's 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. As Mac's search for a
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I bought this book at our local second hand book shop - just a random pick off the shelf, although I think I've read some Peter Temple stories some time ago. I enjoyed the story and it was a gripping, quick read. Recommended for Mystery lovers.
Sep 25, 2009 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
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!!)
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
AN IRON ROSE was Peter Temple's second novel, a stand alone that followed BAD DEBTS which was his first in the Jack Irish series. I thought that there were many similarities between Jack Irish and Mac Faraday.

Faraday is a former Federal policeman who was forced to resign and start a new life after a drugs job went horribly wrong. He never understood how things went so badly and always blamed himself, his own lack of concentration and intuition. Since leaving the police force he has managed to le
May 12, 2010 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 murder-s ...more
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up An Iron Rose at about 11:30pm and wondered if I was too tired to be starting a new book, particularly when I had to get up early in the morning. But I thought, I can read the introduction at least or just look at the first pages.

It was 12:50am when I reluctantly put the book down to get some sleep.

And then, when I woke up, I picked it back up again. Put it down when I had to only to snatch it up when I could. I even ended up taking the book out with me in my handbag just so I could
Jun 13, 2008 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
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
Jul 02, 2011 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 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. Great writer of naturalistic dialogue.
John Bunge
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mac Faraday, retired Melbourne cop, get involved when an old friend is implicated in a local death. Peter Temple uses words sparingly, but captures the essence of the Australian country scene. A page-turner.
A.B. Gayle
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great characters, great story

Another classic from Peter Temple. Characters that jump out of the pages, into your life. Trademark sparse but evocative dialogue. Plot that hooks you and doesn’t let you go until the last paragraph. Bobby Hill Tennis Court. ROFL.
Donna R
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A treasure for sure, now to find some more
Rebecca Foweraker
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mac Faraday is a great character. This book is about friendship, changing relationships and having your past catch up with you.
Gritty murder(? or is it suicide?) mystery set in Melbourne.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of Peter Temple' early books and showed signs of good things to come.
It would have been a certain 5 if he had been a little bit more experienced in his craft.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Quite good, fast moving, a bit confusing in parts, but overall a good read
Marg Armstrong
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I listened to this book on a long and boring journey. It was intriguing and kept my interest as I wondered what would happen next.
Dec 17, 2008 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
Text Publishing
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text-classics
‘A must for thriller seekers’
Who Weekly

‘Fast, funny and assured.’
Australian Book Review

‘The coolest and most elegant of Australian crime writers.’

‘Temple is a phenomenon.’
Sydney Morning Herald

‘Text Publishing is taking a second bite of the Australian literary cherry with its Australian Classics series – a reprint of 30 ‘‘forgotten’’ books. Sure, there are some pretty good ones in the selection but, because I am a Peter Temple tragic, none come better than An Iron Rose. In fact, if Temple had
Dillwynia Peter
Jun 23, 2013 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 18, 2014 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 p ...more
Jan 21, 2015 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 prot ...more
Titus G
Feb 19, 2014 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 R ...more
Deborah Burrows
Sep 08, 2013 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 d ...more
Nick Davies
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: did-not-finish, 2014
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
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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
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