by Peter Carey - £8.99 Faber & Faber (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780571311224 | ISBN 10: 0571311229
When Gaby Bailleux released the Angel Worm into Australia's prison system, allowing hundreds of asylum seekers to walk free, she also let the cat out of the bag. The Americans ran the prisons, like so many parts of her country, and so the doors of some 5000 American places of incarceration also opened. Both countries' secrets threatened to pour out.
Was this a mistake, or had Gaby declared cyberwar on the US? Felix Moore - known to himself as 'Australia's last serving left wing journalist' - has no doubt. Her act was part of the covert conflict between Australia and America. That conflict dates back to the largely forgotten Battle of Brisbane in 1943, stretches forward to America's security interests in Pine Gap and commercial interests everywhere, and has as its most outrageous act the coup of 1975. Funded by his property-developer mate Woody Townes, Felix is going to write Gaby's biography, to save her, and himself, and maybe his country.
But how to get Gaby to co-operate? What role does her film-star mother have to play? And what, after all, does Woody really want?
(Price & availability last checked: November 2015)