ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— When I reached the end of Andy Muir’s novel, the last line of his Acknowledgements tells us Lachie Munro will return - which is a good thing.
Set in Newcastle (or ‘Newie’) this story strikes a larrikin-tone somewhere around Robert G Barrett’s Les Norton series, Shane Maloney's Murray Whelan series and Peter Corris’ Cliff Hardy series. This first appearance of Lachie Munro - house painter and abalone poacher - enjoys a strong cast of characters and lively dialogue through Muir’s ability to channel a current-day, easy-going Australian vernacular (Ocker—lite) honed through extensive experience in screenwriting for many iconic Australian TV shows (Neighbours, Home and Away, All Saints, MDA).
Munro’s life is by his own assessment directionless and there is also a back-story of a criminal father and a mother desperate to see her son not go the same way. Try as he might to do the right thing and make the right choices, Lachie, along with his poaching mate, Dave, embark on a treacherous path after they discover a suitcase of heroin. The bind gets tighter and by midway through the novel, question marks about who to trust hover above many heads. Relaxing and enjoyable reading that is sure to get a following. Craig Kirchner
It’s not every day a bloke stumbles on a dismembered torso on Nobby’s Beach.
Lachie Munro is starting to feel like he’s a magnet for trouble. The day before he fished a giant haul of heroin out of his favourite abalone poaching spot near Newcastle.
There’s a better than even chance that the two are connected and he should leave well enough alone.
But the opportunity to clear his gambling debt and get ahead of the game is too good to pass up.
But how do you sell several kilos of heroin? It’s not like you can just Google up a drug dealer. And what happens when the owners come looking for their missing package? Is the torso a warning to anyone thinking of crossing them?
Now a person of interest to the police, Lachie needs to stay one step ahead of them, a local bikie he’s managed to insult, play off a big time dealer from Sydney, placate the neighbour’s labrador, Horace, and win the heart of the gorgeous new Fisheries Officer he’s fallen for. Or will he discover that getting into the gun sights of the crooked, the dodgy and the downright shady characters of Newcastle and beyond is more than a man can handle.
But, if Lachie can pull it all off, he might just get Something for Nothing.