SENSITIVE NEW AGE SPY continues the Alby Murdoch story where D-E-D Dead! left off. Post the hilariously over the top events at the end of the first book, Alby finds himself thrust into leadership of D-E-D, not that it's all bad. He manages to not get too involved in the day to day, and there's always Julie. Julie helping out on operations is one thing, Julie asleep, in not a lot, on your couch is another altogether. Mind you Alby's pretty well convinced he'll never get to have his way with Julie, it's a pity that for an intelligence agent, he can be as thick as the walls of an 80,000 tonne tanker.
Which is exactly what brings Alby and Julie's happy, relaxed long-weekend to an abrupt end. Nobody's quite sure how a tanker that big could be hijacked in the first place, in the second place how did it end up moored right up beside Fort Denison in the middle of Sydney Harbour, but the more pressing problem is how much of Sydney will be left if the LNG on board goes up in flames. The added complication of the nearby US Navy cruiser that "may or may not" be carrying nuclear weapons and Alby's day is about to get a whole lot more complicated. But every bad situation has to have a an upside and maybe, just maybe, Lieutenant Kingston could be it.
Slightly more assured than the first book, SENSITIVE NEW AGE SPY is a romp through the intricacies of being a spy in a complicated world. No more do spies get the luxury of ultra-sleek Aston Martins and Martinis on call; Sydney's latter day Spy gets a rusted out 4WD and the occasional bottle of red. And breakfast has become a major problem. Alby has really got to get people to stop shooting at him at his favourite breakfast haunts - the poor man may be reduced to a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice like the rest of us mere mortals. At the centre of SENSITIVE NEW AGE SPY, amongst the severely tongue in cheek dialogue (harbour duty officers getting alert and alarmed - which will probably mean more to your average Australian reader...), there is buried in here, a good mystery. Were there nuclear arms on that cruiser? Are they still there, or have they gone missing? Who is the mysterious Reverend Priday and his gorgeous daughter and what on earth does all this have to do with whales?
You could be reading this book first if you want to, there's the odd reference to events in D-E-D Dead!, but not enough to throw you. Having said, that, read them both.