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.
With his PEA licence restored and strapped for cash, Cliff Hardy is reluctantly drawn into a scheme to claim the reward on a 17-year-old abduction case. Hardy is distracted by a hot new lover, but when one of the schemers ends up dead, the case gets his full attention. Who paid the cops to suppress the ransom note and how come they're always one step ahead of Hardy?