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.
Cliff Hardy, with his PI licence cancelled and his career in Sydney at an end, is preparing for a trip overseas. Cleaning out his office, he comes across an open file - an unresolved case from the late 1970s. He starts reading and is thrown back to his investigation of the disappearance of Justin Hampshire. At first glance a straightforward missing person matter, the investigation took on twists and turns involving military history, Sydney criminals and corruption at high levels. The Hampshire case took Cliff from the south coast to the Blue Mountains and posed some unresolved questions which have preyed on his mind for 20 years . . .