"A lawyer addicted to gritty 1950s crime films tracks a serial killer ... A father unnerved by his daughter's drawings ... An edgy man invites strangers into his house ... A taxi crashes on a freeway ... A young woman is driven by a secret obsession ... Hurts and dreams surface during a night of sirens and summer heat ...
"Flamingo Gate is an exacting, darkly humorous portrait of modern life. The stories and novella collected here catch the disquieting image at the corner of the eye, the distracting message in the buzz of background noise, as characters without a history enact scenes of domestic and sexual anguish in a world saturated with video images, toxins and symbols of consumerism. And at their centre is the Flamingo Gate itself, a townhouse complex, an icon for a world in which the surface is unreliable, the underside dark, and lives fail to match dreams.
"The Age has called Garry Disher 'the best short story writer in the country'."
First Paragraph from the Title Story
'Crimewatch' is prime-time Sunday television and first up this evening is an axe-killer. The anchorman gestures outside a busy, decent, threadbare police station, a microphone at his throat. His abhorrence is deep and natural. He barely keeps his dread in check. The anchorman understands our fear of clandestine forces. It's the currency of his programme that we may anticipate our enemies only to be struck down by some veiled or random impulse.
Killers in this time slot are real, not the Central Casting thugs of the Sunday movie, and so the 'Crimewatch' style is trustworthy, raw. The police station was actual location. So is this Safeway car park, this Glen Iris home. This Gemini hatchback is not a prop. The hand-held camera makes all this clear. The actual policeman in charge of the investigation warns women shoppers not to leave their cars unlocked. Also, check the back seat before you get in. A woman describes her lucky escape, an unsatisfactory likeness of her assailant flashing on to the screen. What it has led to - one man's miserable, solitary passion - is frightened women who now phone through their shopping lists for home delivery.
From the Imprint paperback edition, 1991.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Garry Disher Page.
Last modified: November 7, 2001.