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Synopsis

Peter Corris' latest crime classic sees Private Investigator Cliff Hardy leaving the mean streets of Sydney for the Illawarra escarpment, and a gripping combination of a mysterious death, a missing child and a complex trail of violence and police corruption. Wealthy Frederick Farmer died when his weekender burned to the ground. Death by accident, the police found. But his daughter, Dr Elizabeth Farmer, a feisty academic who resembles the younger Germaine Greer, hires Cliff Hardy to investigate. Is her only motive jealousy of her father's attractive second wife, now very rich? Hardy's search takes him from the Illawarra escarpment to Wollongong and Port Kembla, and the police are far from co-operative as he tries to unravel the truth. He has his hands full when a panic-stricken call leads to a second case the search for the precocious daughter of Marisha Karatsky, an exotic, dark-eyed interpreter who gets well and truly under Hardy's guard. Hardy has narrow escapes and people die as his probing hits nerves. Corrupt cops, compromised insurance agents, feral bikies as well as a few good guys are drawn into the maelstrom. Hardy battles on through personal turmoil and vicious opposition with all outcomes uncertain and justice a remote ideal. 'I don't know how many Cliff Hardy novels there are, but there aren't enough.' - Kerry Greenwood, The Sydney Morning Herald 'Hardy is a wonderful creation still, under Corris's magisterial narrative control, capable of those odd echoes and resonances, the elegiac interludes, that characterise the best crime writing.' - Graeme Blundell, The Weekend Australian 'There has been no more efficient, entertaining and amusing writer of detective thrillers in Australia than Peter Corris.' - The Age

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