These three novels are not on the list on my website, and I am changing that soon anyway.
The Innings Biography
Nick Carrington, a New York crime scriptwriter, is back in Australia to see his parents. He is intrigued by a request from an old friend, Ben Mitchell, to cast his eye over an almost finished biography of Ben’s grandfather, Sir Arthur Innings, an immigrant who made good in the business world. He agrees, and finds himself taken to a lovely restored house on the Hawkesbury River, where he meets the housekeeper and the research assistant. The biographer is absent, because of a heart attack, and dies in hospital the next day. The beautiful house, Sir Arthur’s pride and joy, seems to Nick to have an air of apprehension about it, and within two days he becomes involved in a plot no less complicated and worrying than anything he has ever written himself.
Harry Brennan is an Australian expatriate who works all over the world in developing the local infrastructure of countries struggling to get out of poverty. He is one of the leaders in this field, and has been offered a really important job as head of a new philanthropic foundation in New York. He has returned to Australia to get his mind clear about the offer, which he has accepted in a handshake. He also feels the need to see his principal mentor, who is in a luxury aged- care facility and fading from heart disease. There he meets Lucille Herriott, the only woman whom he has ever loved. She is caring for her husband, who is dying from Parkinson’s disease. She has the same feeling for Harry, but twenty-five years have passed since they fell in love and parted. For Harry she is the perfect answer to his need to have someone to share the dream job with. But Lucille can’t come to New York. Quite apart from her dying husband, there is a secret she cannot share even with Harry.
Tina Marek, a student of industrial design in Canberra, is waiting to climb the Castle, a monolith in the Budawang national park. But she is nervous, because her father, a good bushwalker himself, would never take her there. He has died, and she feels caught. Something happened to him there, and she wants to find out what it was; yet he had forbidden her to go there herself. What is more, she feels sure that she is being followed. She meets Peter Andreou, a geology student from Sydney, who is about to climb the last part himself. On the top Peter overhears two men talking about Tina, and realises they do not mean well. He returns and warns her not to climb, indeed to come with him to the safety of his geology field class. She makes that decision, and what follows is a scary descent in which the two are chased by the stalkers, leading to a madcap car pursuit. With the help of another older student, Tom Garritty, the three form a team, to try to find out what happened to Tina’s father, who the stalkers are, and what the whole pursuit is about. The solution is only finally revealed after an enthralling descent over the edge of the great rocky precipice.
Hugh Flavus, knight [to come, Christmas 2020]
We are in 12thcentury France, near what will be known as Spain, where Christians and Moors battle over land. Hugh Flavus is a young and clever priest, ennobled on the battlefield by his Duke when he saved the Duke’s life with a wooden pole bearing a Christian banner, when his master was about to be killed. He then used the Moor’s sword to kill another Moor. In his mind, some time later, comes a message that he should search out a goldsmith, a task that the Duke coincidentally asks him to undertake. The goldsmith proves to be an apparently young woman, to whom Hugh is instantly attracted. She asks him to do something for her, and the Duke agrees. The new task, to his astonishment, is to learn to fly a spacecraft, which she and her fellow operative are unable to do. They are marooned on Earth, and come from another planet, Ground. Hugh finds himself learning new skills, and in doing so becomes involved in a power struggle that is taking place on Ground.[Two further novels, Gone to Ground, and Ground Cover, make up The Flavus Trilogy. They should appear in 2021.]