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Real Thing/Barrett, Rober/Paper/0330271644/S033-A
It isn't every day you help murder someone with poison in an illegal casino, whisk his body halfway across town in a Rolls Royce, after robbing him, then bury his body in tonnes of concrete underneath an international airport - all more or less with the co-operation of two detectives. Les Norton is back in town! Trouble seems to follow Les Norton like a blue heeler after a mob of sheep. Maybe it's his job. Being a bouncer at the infamous and illegal Kelly Club in Kings Cross isn't exactly the stuff a quiet life is made of. Maybe it's his friends. Like Price Galese, the urbane and well-connected owner of The Kelly Club, or Eddie Salita, the hit man who learned to kill in Vietnam, or Reg Campbell, struggling artist and dope dealer. But then again, maybe Les is just unlucky. Robert G. Barrett's five stories in 'The Real Thing' provide an entertaining mix of laughter and excitement, as well as an insight into the Sydney underworld - a world often violent and cynical, but also with its fair share of rough humour and memorable characters.