Melbourne, 1960: Mrs Blayney and her twelve year old son live in South Richmond. At least, they did, until their house burnt down. The prime suspect - one Keith Aloysius Gonzaga Kavanagh, also aged 12 - has mysteriously disappeared. Our narrator, the Blayney kid, sets off on a covert mission to find young Keith, who he privately dubs 'Flame Boy', to save him from the small army of irate locals - not to mention his mother - who want to see him put away.
Flame Boy has not only made himself scarce, but he's done so with a very important briefcase of secrets, which the kid is keen to get hold of for his grandfather, a shady character who has some secrets of his own. But the kid has got a lot going on: he's also organising a new gang of kids; coping with the ups and downs of having a girl friend (who likes to kiss - a lot); trying to avoid Keith's dangerous prison-escapee father, Fergus Kavanagh, also an arsonist, who is suspected of selling secrets to the Russians; and all the while wondering how he can get his hands on the most beautiful object in the world: the Melbourne Olympic Torch.
A madcap, brilliantly shambolic and irresistibly fun novel about loss, discovery and living life to the full, The Torch is a ripper of a ride.
Peter Twohig was born in Melbourne in 1948. As a boy he became one of Australia′s youngest Queen Scouts and in his mid-teens he took up guitar which led him to becoming a member of a rock band that played around Melbourne. Peter had a long career in various Government departments (including the Army and Attorney-General) and as a management consultant before training in Naturopathy and Homoeopathy and setting up Sydney′s largest natural medicine practice in Crow′s Nest in 1995. He has a BA in Professional Writing and a BA(Hons) in Philosophy. He now lives on Sydney′s Northern Beaches and is a full time writer. The Cartographer is his first novel.