Entertainment Books Acclaimed crime writer Peter Temple dies aged 71

Acclaimed crime writer Peter Temple dies aged 71

Peter Temple
Award-winning writer Peter Temple created the iconic novels featuring Jack Irish. Photo: ABC
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Crime writer and Miles Franklin award winner Peter Temple has died.

Mr Temple, 71, died on Thursday at his Ballarat home after battling cancer for the past six months, Fairfax Media reports.

Mr Temple is survived by his wife Anita and his son Nicholas.

Born in South Africa, he came to Australia as a journalist in the 1980s.

As a crime fiction writer he won multiple awards, including the prestigious Miles Franklin literary award in 2010

Mr Temple also created the lawyer Jack Irish for a string of novels, which were later adapted for television with Guy Pearce playing the lead role.

Mr Pearce tweeted on Sunday night: “My sincerest condolences to Peter Temple’s family and friends. It’s truly an honour to play one of your most beloved creations. Thank you for all the colourful characters you’ve introduced me to and the dark paths you’ve led me down. Respect and Peace PT…..xxx.”

Mr Temple’s death puts in doubt the third instalment of his book series that started with The Broken Shore in 2005 and continued with Truth, which won the 2010 Miles Franklin award.

Mr Temple was reportedly working on the third book, with a working title of The Light on the Hill, but was yet to submit a manuscript to his publisher, The Australian reported.

Mr Temple journeyed to Australia from South Africa via a two-year stay in Germany and joined The Sydney Morning Herald as education editor before teaching at the then-Charles Sturt university.

He moved to Melbourne in 1982 to edit Australian Society and then taught the editing and publishing course at RMIT.

Mr Temple’s publisher, Michael Heyward, told Fairfax: ”As an expat he heard us in a way we could hardly hear each other.

”We were so lucky to be able to publish a writer who was a poet who understood narrative and put it to the service of Australian literature,’’ he was quoted as saying.

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