D-E-D DEAD! - Geoff McGeachin

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D-E-D Dead!
Alby Murdoch
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Book Synopsis

Alby Murdoch, international photographer and undercover agent for D-E-D, the Australian Directorate for Extra-territorial Defence, ducks bullets and bombs as he attempts to unravel a lethal web of high-level dodgy dealings....
From the moment Alby drops his gun on a St Kilda tram he knows he's in for a bad day.  Then his partner Harry is gunned down in a Double Bay coffee shop.  By lunchtime, Alby realises someone wants him dead - and they want him dead now.
Book Review

James Bond would have nothing on our Alby these days (and can we all just spare a moments thought for a character name like Alby Murdoch and wonder idly whatever happened to..... remember those Alby Mangel specials?), but I digress.  Mind you, Alby's not opposed to the odd digression as well.  Sure assorted bad guys have shot his colleague dead.  So he's suddenly face to face with Grace - that gorgeous creature from the tram who returned his dropped gun and now she's armed, dangerous and driving the getaway car.  But a good lunch is hard to find and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a quick stop for a glass of wine and a coffee or two.  It's going to take a whole lot more than assorted mayhem to keep this man from the things that matter - your stomach and finding love in all the odd places.
Alby is really one of the starting (and "staring") lights of D-E-D, and in particular WORLDPIX - the famous photographic outfit that operates as cover for the operations of the Directorate for Extra-territorial Defence.  They do all sorts of surveillance and general spying for the Australian Government, but nobody really expected that the yearly drudge of the security clearances for Bitter Springs - the top-secret US military facility deep in the central Australian desert - would quite trigger the blast of activity that ensued.  In avoiding the people that want him dead as well, Alby escapes to Bali and sneaks back into the country, fighting off the pirates and handling the affections of Grace Goodluck.
Okay, there's not a lot that's particularly serious in D-E-D Dead! as you can probably tell from the book synopsis, but there are moments of inspired hilarity.  Tongue-in-cheek, quintessentially Australian, Alby's a spy who's dangerous to know - not only does he have a tendency to get people trying to shoot him, he could represent Australia in the eating Olympics!  But Alby's got mates and contacts that go back years, and he's also deeply annoyed that somebody shot his long-term partner Harry, and he's bloody determined to find out who and why.  Spies who don't get around in tuxedos, nefarious goings on in Central Australia, politically incorrect and fun - enormous, great, rip-roaring, laugh out loud fun!
D-E-D Dead! is the second novel from this author - the first was Fat, Fifty and F***ed! and the third - sensitive New Age Spy is on the way.

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