After graduating in Asian history and politics at the Australian National University, Shane Maloney had the usual assortment of ragtag jobs before turning to literature. When that didn't work either, he became a full-time writer. At various times he has been a booking agent for rock bands, the promotions manager for Melbourne public radio station 3RRR, public relations director for the Boy Scouts Association, an arts bureaucrat for state and local government, general manager of the Melbourne Comedy Festival, cultural director for Melbourne's bid to host the 1996 Olympics and, finally, a swimming pool lifeguard. Maloney, the award-winning author of the Murray Whelan series of comic thrillers, is one of Australia's most popular novelists. Shane's novels have been published in North America, Germany, Finland, UK, France, and Japan. They include Stiff, The Brush-Off, Nice Try, The Big Ask and Something Fishy. Shane lives in Melbourne. Stiff and The Brush off have been turned into television movies starring David Wenham as Murray Whelan.
Now pushing fifty, Murray Whelan is spinning his wheels in parliament - a toothless cog in Labor's stalled political machine.
But when the remains of a long-lost union official are found in dried-up Lake Nillahcootie, Murray soon gets sucked into some murky waters. For a start, it seems that his old mate Charlie Talbot was implicated. But Charlie has just dropped dead of a coronary occlusion in the dining room of the Mildura Grand Hotel, leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions. The press are sniffing around and Labor's enemies are lining up for a free kick. Then there's the blackmail attempt.
And as if that wasn't enough, there's an ALP preselection going pear-shaped.