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