"Single father and true believer Murray Whelan thinks the life of a political minder is complicated enough with a femocrat ex, and bad blood at Trades Hall. But throw in a snap-frozen Turk, drugs under the mattress, fascist funeral rites, the tattooed vote, a killer cat, blood-sucking parasites, and Murray soon finds thngs spinning fatally out of control. That's when the redhot Ayisha knocks on his door.
"Stiff is a fast, furious and funny thriller set among the ethnic feuds, union shenanigans and sexual politics of Melbourne's working-class heartland."
"Maloney is a born writer...For the first time, in the vicinity of Australian crime-writing, we hear the true national voice of comic futility...and there's no reason why Whelan, the detective, should not become a household name." - Peter Craven, Age
"Genuinely frightening and genuinely funny...Shane Maloney has a wicked tongue." - Kerry Greenwood, Sun-Herald
"Maloney's laconic, laid-back lo-fi style juxtaposes bursts of high drama against the hyper-normality of surburban life. Funny and gripping." - Dino Scatena, Rolling Stone
"A deft comedy of daggy manners...Maloney, like his hero, has a nice gruff way with language and an open and rapidly moving eye." - Graeme Blundell, Australian
"A fine fiction-writer." - Stuart Coupe, Sydney Morning Herald
About the Author:
Shane Maloney lives in Brunswick, Melbourne, where he works as a swimming-pool guard.
The fiddle at the Pacific Pastoral meat-packing works was neither particularly original nor fabulously lucrative. But it was a nice little earner for all concerned while it lasted, and probably harmless enough. All that changed when Herb Gardiner reported finding a body in Number 3 chiller.
There it was, jammed between a pallet of best export boneless beef and half a tonne of spring lamb. It was a Friday afternoon so, if Gardiner hadn't found it when he did, the corpse would have spent the weekend locked in with the rest of the dead meat, carcasses parked halfway between paddock and dinner plate.
According to the statement Gardiner gave to the Department of Labour investigators and the police, the Number 3 unit had a history of playing up. He had unlocked the door and gone inside to read the guage when he saw the body squeezed into the aisle running through to the emergency exit hatch. He recognised it immediately as a leading hand with one of the casual work crews, later identified as Ekrem Bayraktar. He didn't need to feel for Bayrakatr's pulse to know that he was dead. He could tell by the waxy pallor of the man's face, by the dusting of fine sugar on his lips where his last breath had turned to frost.
From the Text Publishing paperback edition, 1997.
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Last modified: February 1, 2005.