A Former male model and GQ Bachelor of the Year, Shane Maloney is currently a member of an order of Burmese monks. His short stories have never been published.
The chance to read Shane Maloney’s sixth Murray Whelan thriller was one I looked forward to with great delight and I was not to be disappointed. Murray, now pushing 50 and a member of the Victorian Legislative Council as part of the Labor opposition, sees his friend Charlie Talbot die in front of him at the Grand Hotel in Mildura. This death coincides with the discovery of human remains at the bottom of a drained lake and this could tie in with his friend Charlie’s past history in the union they were both involved in along with the dead man. With this basic outline the story really romps along, including machinations within the Labor Party and the Coalition Government. These include the behind-the-scenes manoeuvring to get a candidate up for Charlie’s now vacant seat in federal parliament, along with Murray getting to the bottom of the dead body in the lake bed. One of the joys of this series is trying to pick the real politicians behind the characters in the story--although the Right Honourable Kenneth Geoffries as Premier was easy to pick, it is fascinating exercise trying to match the others. For a member of the Victorian upper house Murray certainly gets involved in some rather shady and rough business--just goes to show how tough life is for a politician! Murray’s off and on love-life also gets a look in and gosh it must be hard being a member of parliament. The character of Murray, which has grown over the past five books (The Big Ask; Brush Off; Nice Try; Something Fishy and Stiff), is an engaging one and readers of both sexes can certainly get involved in his adventures with pleasure. The other characters in the books, whether fellow politicians, women he knows or works with, or others, all come across as interesting and believable. I feel that Shane Maloney is one of Australia’s national treasures in the crime field and I can hardly wait for the seventh in the series. Peter Milne is deputy managing director of Abbey’s Bookshops and a crime aficionado