Author(s): David Knight
This novel is set mainly in Australia in the late 1960s and the 1970s; a time characterised by social upheaval, organised crime supported by corrupt figures in positions of power, increased drug taking and the technological changes brought about by the emergence of smaller and faster computers. The Vietnam War divided the country and led to increasingly sophisticated channels of drug smuggling not just in Australia, but throughout the world. And the CIA, using Air America, was part of the supply chain. Against this backdrop, Jack and Terry, both aged 20, are the two main protagonists in the novel. They have grown up in a working class neighbourhood in Newcastle, with Terry's parents being alcoholics and drug addicts. Their common love for surf lifesaving is increasingly the only thing that links them. But as their lives progress, the pair choose widely diverging paths - Jack plunging into the new world of computers at University, and Terry into increasingly risky links to organised crime and the Heroin trade coming out of the Golden Triangle in Asia.
But despite a growing antipathy towards each other, their lives keep intersecting, firstly in Vietnam as National Servicemen, then later in connection with the Nugan Hand Bank, a shady financial institution based in Australia but with tentacles spreading across the world. As the clashes between Terry and Jack grow more heated, this impacts on friends, lovers and family. One thing is for sure - no one will be the same afterward.