In The Deal Chris Coulter opens his readers' eyes wide open to the world of sex, drugs and big business as lived by his charming and roguish flawed hero Jack Farrow and the dissolute, amoral and highly entertaining cast of friends and foes he has created.
It is the fast paced, intelligent and often hilarious tale of the missteps and travails of Jack as he takes a final shot at redemption. He battles Russian gangsters, ex-wives, his own demons and his uber successful and confident business rival from Sydney, 'Big' Bruce Walker as he attempts to pull off a deal that will salvage a career and life, that, to put it mildly, has run off the rails.
We cannot help but be drawn into Jack's world and hope against hope that he succeeds in his deal. Yet, we shake our heads that such an improbability could occur when he is faced with so many obstacles. He has two ex-wives to support; a fondness for booze, cocaine and hookers; one business partner freshly out of jail and another whose retribution if Jack loses his money could result in grievous bodily harm; a highly successful and motivated business rival who appears one step ahead; and to top it all off, the GFC has made such deals all but impossible.
The genius of Coulter's tale is that he weaves in the highly implausible and absurd with realistic and familiar settings and characters. The Melbourne and Sydney rivalry is encapsulated perfectly in the battle between 'Urbane Melbourne Jack' and 'Blokey Sydney Bruce'. The struggles we all face daily to meet the demands of friends, family and work are writ large in Jack's world.
Enjoy that world by reading The Deal and living with Jack his chaotic, shambolic and we hope, successful attempt at salvation.