Sadly, this is the last Cliff Hardy adventure to come from the pen of Peter Corris, as he is hanging up his hat and retiring from the written word, as so too is Cliff Hardy: therefore fans of both Corris and Hardy, get set to enjoy this final cold case crime the master of crime fiction and his mate, as they both move into retirement
In Cliff’s last case to be solved he is approached by wealthy businessman Gerard Fonteyn OA to try to find his daughter Juliana, who has been missing for more than a year. Gerard Fonteyn is convinced she is not dead, just taken off into the blue and wants to know why. As he was and still is, considered as the prime suspect in her possible murder, he needs some final answers.
To all intents Juliana seemed to be the typical teenager from a wealthy background; fit, athletic, a possible champion swimmer in the making and doing reasonably well at school; apple of her father’s eye. So what can have gone that wrong she decided to disappear, or has she been abducted or murdered?
Cliff reluctantly agrees to take on the case with a proviso that if he can find no new leads in the first lot of research there is nothing doing. But as always with Hardy’s cases, they somehow wrap their tentacles about him, winding him in until the only way out is to keep going until a conclusion is reached.
Unfortunately in this instance, Hardy only thinks he knows the players, but as the plot slowly unfolds he discovers what appears to be the real thing is not always so, which leads him on merry old chase. Beginning at Norfolk Island, where Juliana is supposed to have been sighted by former photojournalist Colin Cameron, who has fallen on hard times and likes one drink too many. He’s out for the money, but also wants to be the first to grab the scoop once Juliana is found.
As it turns out the lead is a good one but is also the lead into a nasty old mess, where friend turns enemy and not one thing is as it seems. The further Hardy gets into the case the messier and murkier are the waters, as are the details surrounding what appeared to be relatively normal family, at the top end of the social scale.
As a farewell case, both Corris and Hardy have excelled, as the plot is one which, yet again, keeps you guessing until the very last word is written, as always.
Happy retirement fellas, and thanks for the many great reads.
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin|