From Australia's 'national literary institution' (Sydney Morning Herald), the latest mystery featuring homicide detective and family man Scobie Malone
The time has come for Scobie Malone to leave the Homicide and Serial Offenders Unit of the Sydney police, and his last investigation could be the most bizarre case ever to cross his desk.
Called in when a housemaid is found dead in a dotcom millionaire's penthouse, Scobie suspects he's dealing with a kidnap that's gone wrong. But never in his wildest dreams could he imagine just how wrong. It has come as a nasty surprise to the kidnappers, too, that their well-laid plan to grab a millionaire's girlfriend has instead netted them a millionaire. How were they supposed to know he liked slipping into the girlfriend's designer dresses when she wasn't around?
To make matters worse, the dotcom bubble has burst, leaving the erstwhile millionaire in debt to the Yakuza and high on their hit list. Could it be that they are behind the kidnapping? The trail leads Scobie to renew the acquaintance of some old adversaries, but Japanese gangsters pale into insignificance compared to the predatory ex-wife, ex-girlfriends, and ex-mother-in-law, all with an eye on their share of the spoils.
Jon Cleary, who died in July 2010, was the author of over fifty novels, including The High Commissioner, which was the first in a popular detective fiction series featuring Sydney Police Inspector Scobie Malone. In 1996 he was awarded the Inaugural Ned Kelly Award for his lifetime contribution to crime fiction in Australia. His last novel,Four Cornered Circle, was published in 2007.
'The Malone stories come alive through their setting. Cleary's writing is seamless and his plots imaginative and mature'
Carl Hiaasen, Miami Herald
'Cleary is a national literary institution. If Australia has a crime writer who deserves to be spoken of in the same breath as Ed McBain, Ruth Rendell, and P.D James, then it is Cleary'
Stuart Coupe, Sydney Morning Herald