David Owen was born in Zimbabwe in 1956 and grew up in Malawi and Swaziland. He completed his education in South Africa and then spent some years working in London. He migrated to Australia in 1986 and lived in Melbourne for four years. He is now settled in Tasmania.
Detective Inspector Franz Heineken, aka Pufferfish, is a cop who loves to be loathed.
Roaming the backwaters of his bedevilled island home, Pufferfish is led to investigate a mysterious and clueless attack on a second-hand dealer. But while Ira Cone's injuries are not serious, her volunteer work for a soup kitchen attracts the attention of the good detective's ever-probing eye.
Taking up a frustrating night-vigil, Pufferfish is surprised to encounter a peculiar sleeping tramp: young, Jesus-faced, indescribably stinking and wearing $20,000 worth of sable coat. Not to mention the diamond accessories and precious rings. And who is Kingo, who cannot - or will not - speak, and has a large swastika tattooed between his shoulder blades?
Pufferfish closes in on Ira's attacker and the muted, mad feral Kingo. But nothing comes cheap in this business.