Michael Duffy reports for the Sydney Morning Herald on crime and other matters. Previously he wrote for Sydney's other newspaper, the Daily Telegraph. He has played in punk rock bands, written biographies of several Sydney characters, and is co-presenter of 'Counterpoint', Radio National's challenge to orthodox ideas.
'If The Godfather was set in Sydney today, it would be about the Lebs. But brothers, lots of brothers. Fathers don't matter anymore.' Detective Inspector Brian Harris
John Habib is the mechanic son of a Muslim Lebanese-Australian crime family in Sydney's Western suburbs. His oldest brother is in a maximum security prison, his middle brother is becoming increasingly fundamentalist, and his younger brother Rafi is on trial for a murder he swears he didn't commit. John has no reason to disbelieve Rafi but there are things going on in the family that he just doesn't understand. Why has his brother taken control of the family away from their father? Are the police really trying to set up Rafi? And what is the compelling evidence they say will put him away? John sets out to prove Rafi's innocence in the face of his predatory older brothers and some Lebanese-hating cops.
Bec Ralston is a good detective who doesn't know why she's been ordered to attend Rafi's trial. She was previously thrown off the investigation for voicing the opinion that Rafi might be innocent. As the court case goes badly wrong, she finds herself torn between her loyalty to the senior police she respects and the truth.