Peter Corris was born in Stawell, Victoria in 1942. When he was five his family left the country for Melbourne and he was educated at Melbourne High School and the University of Melbourne. After taking a Master's degree at Monash University and a PhD at the Australian National University (both in History), he was an academic, teaching and researching in various universities and a College of Advanced Education until 1975 when he gave up academia for journalism. He was literary editor of The National Times, 1980-81. He has travelled and lived for short periods in the Pacific, Britain, Europe and the USA.
Politician Peter January is having trouble staying alive so he hires Cliff Hardy to help him.
Hardy dislikes the role of politician's 'security consultant' but he dislikes bombers, hitmen and hate-mailers even more. Protecting January leads to protecting his assistant, Trudie Bell, which is a more enjoyable assignment.
It also takes Hardy to Washington DC where the threats are real and the rules are different. To stand close to January is to stand close to danger and corruption, but there are even greater evils and Hardy cannot back away...