Ten years after the Fitzgerald Inquiry, corrupt journalist George is in exile in a small country town; but then his ex-best friend Charlie turns up dead in the town. George goes to Brisbane to cremate Charlie and tries to find out what happened. The story emerges in big chunks of flashback whenever George meets someone from his past. This feels clumsy to me; it’s not integrated, it’s a stop the story and go back to the past. The novel is soaked in alcohol; every character is an alcoholic. George has gone sober for the last ten years, but when he finally uncorks a bottle toward the end, it’s like a sex scene we’ve been working up to all novel.