The thrilling new novel from the author of “The Thorn Birds”
One day, one city, twelve murders.
The year is 1967 and the world teeters on the brink of nuclear holocaust as the Cold War goes relentlessly on. On a beautiful spring day in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, chief of detectives Carmine Delmonico walks into the prestigious Chubb University halls to be greeted by a limp corpse clamped in a bear trap, all traces of life drained from it. And this is just the beginning. Twelve murders have taken place in one day and suddenly Carmine has more pressing matters on his hands than finding a name for his newborn son.
Supported by his detective sergeants, and new team member – the meticulous Delia Carstairs – Delmonico embarks on what look likes an unsolvable mystery. All the murders are different. Are they dealing with one killer or many?
And if twelve murders were not enough, Carmine soon finds himself pitted against the mysterious spy, Ulysses – who is giving local arms giant Cornucopia’s military secrets to the Russians. Are the murders and espionage different cases, or are they somehow linked?
About the Author
Colleen McCullough-Robinson, AO (The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established on 14 February 1975 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens), is an internationally acclaimed Australian author.
McCullough was born in Wellington, in outback central west New South Wales, in 1937 to James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved around a great deal, and she was also "a voracious reader". Her family eventually settled in Sydney, and she attended Holy Cross College, having a strong interest in the humanities.
Before entering tertiary education, she previously earned a living as a teacher, librarian, and journalist. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered dermatitis from surgical soap and was told to abandon her dreams of becoming a medical doctor. Instead, she switched to neuroscience and worked in Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.
In 1963 she moved for four years to the United Kingdom; at the Great Ormond Street hospital in London, she met the chairman of the neurology department at Yale University who offered her a research associate job at Yale. McCullough spent ten years from April 1967 to 1976 researching and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. It was while at Yale that her first two books were written.
The success of these books enabled her to give up her medical-scientific career and to try and "live on her own terms" In the late 1970s, after stints in London and Connecticut, USA, she finally settled on the isolation of Norfolk Island in the Pacific, where she met her husband, Ric Robinson (then aged 33), whom she married on 13 April 1983 (she was aged 46).
In 1984 a portrait of Colleen McCullough, painted by Wesley Walters, was a finalist in the Archibald Prize. The prize is awarded for the "best portrait painting preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics".
The depth of historical research for the novels on ancient Rome led to her being awarded a Doctor of Letters degree by Macquarie University in 1993.
More recently, McCullough engendered criticism for controversial statements made during the Pitcairn sexual assault trial of 2004. McCullough asserted that the rapes committed by the defendants (all but one of whom were ultimately found guilty of at least some of the charges they faced) were "indigenous customs" and that it is "Polynesian to break your girls in at 12."
In 2005, McCullough briefly appeared alongside family members in the 6 min short comedy Popcorn People.
McCullough is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She now lives in Sydney.
Her 2008 novel The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett engendered controversy with her reworking of characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Susannah Fullerton, the president of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, said she "shuddered" that Elizabeth Bennet was rewritten as weak, and Mr Darcy savage. "She is one of the strongest, liveliest heroines in literature... [and] Darcy's generosity of spirit and nobility of character make her fall in love with him – why should those essential traits in both of them change in 20 years?"