Nick Lalor’s entertaining reflection on his undercover, national and international crime fighting career uses a laconic turn of phrase and hilarious colourful ‘ockerisms’. His narrative sits perfectly in place and time in the long history of Australia’s boys in blue. Lalor’s Lore should be a must-read for that other iconic fictional character, Rake, whose romps through the courts, lock ups and seedy sights are matched by Lalor’ s rollicking warts-and-all, tell-all, tale of life in the ’70s and ’80s of keeping the streets safe for law abiding citizens.
Colourful characters and their exploits- or is that sexploits?- pepper the pages of this dizzying hilarious tale of the rise and rise of Tasmanian lad Nick Lalor. From humble beginnings as the wet behind the ears young Constable in an isolated west coast and slightly weird one horse town learning the ropes of policing where the lines of justice and expedience sometimes blur, ‘Lethal’ Lalor is propelled across this wide brown land into the dizzying and dangerous fast lane of life as an undercover narc.
Working with Sandy the ‘Sandman’, Tom The Pom, Ferret the informer and Stormy Weather the good hearted lady of the night, Lalor manages to chalk up an impressive score in a world of high stakes and danger where staying alive is not always part of the role description. Humour abounds throughout his tale, including the circumstances of Sergeant Clarence’s meteoric rise through the ranks-and the tanks- of the constabulary before seeking greener pastures.
The laconic larrikin element is central to Lalor’s tale but beneath the black humour and haze of alcohol and good time girls the burden of responsibility of holding the line between crims and the ordinary punter can be glimpsed. Nick occasionally makes a Captain’s Call in the way a situation is handled, particularly if it involves young girls who have been duped or drug lords who may be about to weasel their way out of a charge. He also recognises the way the world works where he has seen power and money work magic and values the mateship and shared worldview of his colleagues who see life in the raw through a grimy unpolished window.
Lalor’s Lore presents a nostalgic glimpse of Australia before political correctness and provides both an entertaining read and stimulus for discussion of contemporary crime fighting, after the howls of laughter abate.
Reviewed by Chris McGuigan
Kensington Review November 2015
Available from Sid Harta Publishers http://sidharta.com/au