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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Geoff McGeachin - D.E.D and Lovin' It

In 2005, Australia and the rest of the world was introduced to the very secretive and rather lucrative spy organisation that goes by the name Directorate for Extra-territorial Defence or D.E.D. That introduction came in the form of the highly entertaining D.E.D. Dead by Geoff McGeachin.

Alby Murdoch is back for a second sensational undercover romp in Sensitive New Age Spy (pub. Viking / Penguin). Due for release in June, SNAS is about as Aussie as a spy book can get with irreverent laconic humour evident from the opening page. Heck, McGeachin even manages to stick a Hills Hoist on Fort Denison before the first page is over. Sydney's well-known landmarks are used to great effect and then, to make sure there's no doubt about where you are, a constant flow of Australian slang peppers the dialogue.

But all that doesn't tell you about the plot of Sensitive New Age Spy, does it. It all starts when Alby is called down to Sydney Harbour to help out the local police liason officer with a LNG super tanker that had been tied up at Fort Denison. Basically, what the ship amounts to is a potential floating bomb that could take out half of Sydney's CBD should it go off. Before the week is out Alby will have been shot at, been duped, been seduced, been demoted, been flashed by a beautiful christian, been impressed by his 85 year old next door neighbour and been to Tasmania.

Quite frankly, this is the way all spy novels should be written mixing the serious stuff with plenty of irreverent humour, fronted by a guy who wins some, loses lots but comes across as a highly competent larrikin.
When I say irreverent, this is the kind of stuff I'm talking about:
'Canberra' is apparently an Aboriginal word meaning a place where one's tax dollars are pissed away. A self-governing territory and the seat of our federal government, it has also the country's most liberal liquor laws, a thriving blackmarket trade in sky rockets and double bungers, and is home to the nation's mail-order dirty-video business. All in all, a combination to make a bloke's chest swell with patriotic pride.

Not to mention this little gem of an exchange between Alby and the gorgeous lesbian journalist Gudrun Arkell:

I nodded. 'Fancy a moonlit walk through the grapevines with your old Uncle Alby?'
'I've had some seriously creepy offers in my life, Alby, but that one really takes the cake.'
'Bloody bike dyke,' I said.
'Career public servant,' Gudrun retorted.
She always was better that me when it came to name-calling.

There's a theft, there's a major international incident in the offing, there's danger, there's even a little bit of steamy sex, but there's plenty of humour and enterainment from go to whoa. Give it a read for a great example of Australian humor tied up in a espionage-type bow.

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