I came across two punctuation metaphors last week.

Police life: a series of punctuation points. Mostly full-stops at the end of partial outcomes, doubtful outcomes and unfinished stories.


Wendy knocked. Clara appeared, hectic and warm. ‘Come in out of the cold!’ She speaks in exclamation marks, Hirsch thought, following both women into a small living room. Clara gestured. ‘Sit, sit.’

Both quotations are taken from Garry Disher’s book Consolation, the third of his Tiverton books. The main character of the Tiverton books is policeman Paul Hirschhausen, who has been transferred from Adelaide to a one-man police station in Tiverton in rural South Australia. He’s a likeable character but what I particularly enjoyed in the three books was the way in which the landscape, and the local climate, are described.

ruin of a building in a dry landscape with dry mountain rage in the background

Old Burra Road. Image © Royston Rascals, reproduced under a CC BY-NC 2.0 licence.