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chasing the somerton dragon

Five years ago my wife passed over a magazine with an article about this Somerton fellow, and after a lifetime of reading John le Carre, Eric Ambler, Geoffrey Household, Robert Littel, Alan Furst, John Buchan ¬† … spy writers all … a couple of things poked their heads up and said hello.
This fellow had not hat when all men wore them. There was the slip, the Rubaiyat and the nurse’s phone number. Then his lack of ID, the labels missing on his clothes and the odd cigarettes in his packet.

I had found a gold mine for fiction.

I bought Gerry’s book right away and have since mutilated it with notes: it has served a mouse pad for over a thousand days. I Printed off all Derek Abbott’s work and the 600+ comments on the Smithsonian thread, the inquest papers, I infested every related blog I could find with insistent and sometimes suspect connections with the subject matter. I took the piss.

The book was written four times before the fifth passed edit muster and the publication date is going to be on December 1st. In the words of Edmund Hillary, ‘we knocked the bastard off.’

Cover for web2

Then Gordon Cramer stepped in. Gordon and Clive.

Clive may have found the something everybody has been looking for and Gordon is in it with him up to his eyebrows. So to is Byron Deveson.

I spoke to Gordon this morning and after a five minute conversation about matters I’m sworn to secrecy, he asked me how the book was going.

‘All done,’ I replied, ‘except for one thing.’

‘What’s that?’

‘This¬†Dunera story, it’s buggered the plot competely.’

dunera boys

Melbourne reunion of the Dunera Boys, 1984.

GC laughed his head off.

.. and Rob, they look a pretty well-seasoned lot to me with all those Miami Beach suntans.


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Clive #

    Don’t feel bad about it, Pete. I take the blame for looking into Tibor Kaldor-I mentioned it to GC(007) and he was shaken and stirred, both at the same time-not a pretty sight!

    August 26, 2016
  2. it’s ok, Clive, I’ve spoken to the publisher, she says we only need to change 57 chapters and the book will work out just fine.. either that or I can make a personal donation to keep everything under wraps for six months, a bank to bank transfer, nobody need ever know.

    August 26, 2016
  3. ellen #

    The reader can read more than one account of a historical event. The beauty of the SM story is that no matter how well you have covered every detail, there is always that loose end. It just makes the story more tantalizing.

    August 27, 2016

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