There are good cops, there are bad cops...and there is Pufferfish, aka Detective Inspector Franz Heineken.
Pufferfish (Contusus brevicaudus): Body moderately short, pectorals rounded. Slow swimmer. Scavenger in the mud, at home in the murky shallows, where it roots out and feeds on detritusbody able to bloat and even explode under extreme provocation.
A severed head rolls out of the runnish in a crowded Tasmanian caravan park, and the hunt is on for the killers ... and for their victim, a man no-one seems to miss, a man no-one wants to know.
An old release - originally published in 1994, Pig's Head is the first in the 4 Pufferfish novels by David Owen and so far it's been the only one I've never been able to get my hands on. Imagine my sheer delight when Kill City in Swanston Street revealed 2 copies!
Detective Inspector Franz Heineken (or Pufferfish as he calls himself) is called into investigate the discovery of a severed head in the rubbish at a crowded Tasmanian caravan park. Initial concerns are that the caravan park, which is fenced and shutdown every night to keep out undesirables, may still contain a deranged killer, but quickly it becomes obvious that the killer is not your typical head removing lunatic and what's more to the point, Pufferfish himself has allowed them out of the park.
The investigation moves between Tasmania and the mainland as the killer is tracked and the incredibly difficult task of identifying the victim continues at Pufferfish pace.
*** From the back of the book:
Pufferfish (Contusus brevicandus): Body moderately short, pectorals rounded. Slow swimmer. Scavenger in the mud, at home in the murky shallows, where it roots out and feeds on detritus. Inflatable body able to bloat and even explode under extreme provocation.
Great series - huge pity there were only 4 of them!
BRAVO TWO ZERO - Andy McNab
BRAVO TWO ZERO is the identifying sign given to an eight-man British Special Air Service patrol that was sent into Iraq to find and destroy a major land-line telecommunications link and Iraqi Scud missile launchers during the Gulf War.
Andy McNab is the leader of the ill-fated, and some would say doomed from the start patrol, which is landed right into the middle of a major Iraqi troop staging area, on foot, backed up with radio frequencies that wouldn't work and up against it from the start. When they are seen by a local child who reports them to the Iraqi army then their attempts to escape are mostly unsuccessful. They did manage to reach a designated emergency pickup point, but rescue aircraft never arrive. They then attempt to follow a 300km long escape route to Syria but after getting separated, and suffering from hypothermia and severe weather (including snow), four members of the team are captured, three die and only one makes it into Syria. The captured team members are then repeatedly tortured and interrogated by Iraqi authorities until being repatriated out of Iraq in a series of prisoner exchanges.
The Regiment (as the SAS is known) is made up of a certain style of soldier - they are tough, rough and trained to expect anything and handle everything. They call a spade a shovel and take their roles as soldiers very very seriously. Andy McNab has a certain style in his writing of BRAVO TWO ZERO that is very no-holds barred, to the point and graphic. Much like, one would expect, they would talk amongst themselves.
This is a true war story - there's no room for moral consideration of who or what is right in any of this - it's very brutal on all sides. The SAS team are tortured mercilessly and the descriptions of that are extremely graphic - but on the other side, killing people is something that they regard quite matter of factly as part of their own plans.
Definitely a book for those who like their war stories unspun.