Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Rough as guts, but finally up

I apologise that it's been a month (blame exams), but new installment Naylor's Canberra is finally up.

For those unfamiliar with the concept once a week (in theory) I publish 1,000 words of a crime novel in draft that starts over here.

Elliot Naylor, a semi-employed law librarian, refused admission as a solicitor following a culpable driving charge, has been hired to find his ex-girlfriend Marina by her father (David Carmichael, a prominent barrister).

Marina works for the Minister for Justice and Customs, a high-profile crusader against the trafficking of women into Australia for sexual slavery. Her father is keen to avoid any embarassment to himself or the Minister, and hope Elliot can find her quickly and quietly.

Elliot's research suggests more is at stake. Carmichael seems to have lied to his wife and daughter about his dealings with a corrupt local businessman (Bob Mitchell). Carmichael, Mitchell and a third man, Ryder, are involved in a property development of dubious environmental impact.

Elliot suspects Marina of absconding with documents. Meanwhile, he discovers the death of Marina's colleague Jenny and Ryder's connections to pornography and prostitution.

A naive attempt to ascertain whether Carmichael was a known face at one of Ryder's brothels earned him bruised ribs (and possibly worse). Frighteningly, the flat next door to Elliot's - mistaken for his - has been trashed.

It is possible the Minister is influencing the police investigation into both Marina's disappearance and Jenny's murder, and that a leak from his office is somehow responsible for Jenny's death.

Leads on Marina's whereabout remaining scant, Elliot (with new girlfriend Danielle and flatmate Eva) returns to Marina's house to interview her flatmate Ted. He suspects Ted of having slept with Marina recently, despite both of them sharing a roof with Trish, Ted's girlfriend.

With that recap in mind, read on ...

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