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Introduction by Lindsay Tanner
The first Murray Whelan adventure
The fiddle at the Pacific Pastoral meat-packing works was a nice little earner for all concerned until Herb Gardiner reported finding a body in number 3 chiller. An accident, of course, but just the excuse a devious political operator might grab to stir up trouble with the unions.
Enter Murray Whelan, minder, fixer and general dogsbody for the Minister of Industry. Between playing of party factions and pursuing the kohl-eyed Ayisha, it’s all in a day’s work for Murray to hose down the situation at Pacific Pastoral.
Then the lairy V8 turns up. And after that, it gets personal. Because don’t you just hate it when somebody tries to kill you and you don’t know who or why?
‘Stiff is hilarious. Shane Maloney has a wicked tongue…He has a fine talent for observation and an excellent sense of taste…This book is tightly plotted and the ending is a surprise. It is a witty, controversial, intelligent book, both genuinely frightening and genuinely funny. A rare combination.’
‘Stiff is a murder mystery within a gritty political thriller, disguised as light comedy, all told with a remarkably deft touch…The dialogue is snappy throughout.’
‘Action packed…reminiscent of the best of Hammond Innes…Read it, you’ll love it. We want more from Maloney.’
‘A deft comedy…Murray Whelan steers a clapped-out Renault and a wonderful naivete…Maloney, like his hero, has a nice gruff way with language and an open and rapidly moving eye.’
‘Shane Maloney’s debut novel Stiff…juxtaposes bursts of high drama against the hyper-normality of suburban life. Funny and gripping…’
‘Maloney is terrific, a writer who brings to the prose of pulp fiction the stateliness and beserkness of the best Australian comedy…he could be the Australian Chandler…[Stiff] may well become a cult book.’
‘Deep and subtle verities…Maloney is a writer who seems to have been sitting on a thousand observations now unleashed.’
‘The pure pleasure of Maloney’s book lies in being plunged so thoroughly into the complicated byways of Australian politics…a fast-paced, fresh, unerringly funny book…Murray is a great creation, one that takes the wisecracking wise guy into a whole new realm.’
‘Whelan is a born politico: a breezy, know-it-all wiseacre with a glad hand and a seductively confiding tone of voice.’
‘Maloney pokes fun at almost everything, revelling in words that showcase ludicrous events and behaviour. And Murray as a caring but totally unhandy and terminally horny single (almost) parent only broadens the satire. A rewarding and entertaining read.’