Jack Maclean, Hollywood actor, is in Australia making a film with his director wife, Karin. His part: Joshua Harris, the murderous preacher. But as Jack acts out his role for the cameras, so does a murderer - for real - in the dark streets of Melbourne....
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A body in a billabong...
The bridegroom who disappears on his wedding day...
A murderer for all the right reasons...
The Australian thriller tradition is rich and some of the early examples almost completely unknown. This collection, selected by Stephen Knight, unearths nuggets of dynamic drama from our archives of crime writing - including writers like Arthur Conan Doyle, Ernest Favenc, Alan Michaelis, Barbara Baynton right up to Peter Corris and Jennifer Rowe.
Helga's Web sees Scobie Malone investigating the discovery of a body in the basement of the Sydney Opera House. She turns out be a high class call girl with a sideline in blackmail, and so her clients, including a Cabinet minster and the film producer brother of one of the richest men in Sydney, are obvious suspects. However, their position means that they need to be handled with care, and this makes the job of the police much more difficult.
The restoration of a bombed-out London theatre ends in violent death -- and one of Marsh's most vivid and dramatic novels When the bombed-out Dolphin Theatre is given to Peregrine Jay by a mysterious wealthy patron, he is overjoyed. And when the mysterious oil millionaire also gives him a glove that belonged to Shakespeare, Peregrine displays it in the dockside theatre and writes a successful play about it. But then a murder takes place, a boy is attacked, the glove is stolen. Could it be that oil and water don't mix? Inspector Roderick Alleyn is determined to find out.
A classic Ngaio Marsh novel which features blood-curdling murders in the confines of a riverboat, the Zodiac, cruising through Constable country. 'He looks upon the murders that he did in fact perform as tiresome and regrettable necessities,' reflected Chief Superintendent Roderick Alleyn on the international crook known as 'the Jampot'. But it was Alleyn's wife Troy who knew 'the Jampot' best: she had shared close quarters with him on the tiny pleasure steamer Zodiac on a cruise along the peaceful rivers of 'Constable country'.
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"To fall asleep and dream deams that change as quickly as the forms in an unsteady kaleidoscope, and to awaken with a bewildered feeling that you are not yourself but having changed places with some other identity, must be a sensation akin to that I experienced when I opened my eyes in the morning after my first sleep on the diggings."
Les thought that playing minder to Peregrine Normanhurst III sounded like a dead-set snack: Les would keep Peregrine out of trouble. So what if he was on the run from the IRA? They'd never follow him to Australia... But Les quickly finds himself thrust into an adventure that moves at breakneck speed from the corridors of power in Canberra to the grimy tenements of Belfast, to climax in a nerve-shattering, blood-spattered shootout on a survivalist fortress in the Tweed Valley.