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.
Four a.m. and the smart money's home in bed. More importantly for Murray Whelan, his son Red isn't. He's gone missing, on the run somewhere in Sydney. So what's Murray doing in a greasy spoon at the fruit and veg markets, nursing his facial bruising and talking to Donny Maitland about a grass-roots takeover of the truckies' union?
Working a deal for Angelo Agnelli, Minister for Transport and sparring partner of the United Haulage Workers, that's what. Business as usual for Murray. Until the bloke who inflicted the bruises turns up to do some more inflicting. And then turns up dead.
Murray needs to stay out of trouble long enough to find Red. But that, it seems, might be a pretty big ask.