Twenty-five years ago, serial killer Paul Denyer terrorised the Melbourne bayside suburb of Frankston.
It began on 11 June 1993 when Elizabeth Stevens was murdered on her way home from the library. Then, on 8 July, Debbie Fream left her new baby boy with a friend while she dashed out for milk. She was abducted and killed.
True crime writer Vikki Petraitis was researching her second book, after writing The Phillip Island Murder (Kerr Publishing, 1994), when she unexpectedly found herself in the middle of the hunt for a serial killer.
Sometimes life can be very good to the dedicated reader. In 2002 I cannot tell you how excited I was when HALF PAST DEAD dropped into my line of sight. At the time I was obsessed with the local crime writing scene - having originally been "rehooked" by Marele Day, Patricia Carlon, Peter Corris, Shane Maloney and what, at the time, was building to an increasingly wide variety of locally set, locally relevant crime writing. A HAND IN THE BUSH followed in 2005 and I still have my paperback with the cartoon cover, signed by Jane after a panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival.