Charming gentleman convict Hugh Monsarrat returns in this second novel in the thrilling and spellbinding historical crime series from Thomas Keneally and his daughter Meg Keneally featuring his signature “fresh and engaging” (The New York Times) prose.
Recently arrived from Port Macquarie, ticket-of-leave gentleman convict Hugh Llewelyn Monsarrat now lives in a small but comfortable house in Parramatta with his loyal housekeeper, Mrs. Mulrooney.
Monsarrat is now working for the Attorney General’s office, officially as a clerk, but also as an unofficial advisor on criminal and legal matters. One day, he is informed that the superintendent of the female prison, Robert Church, has been murdered.
Apparently, a female convict named Grace O’Leary held a particular grudge against him and is being detained for questioning. Monsarrat’s task is to take a statement from her. Grace doesn’t strike Monsarrat as a murderer and she insists she’s innocent. Monsarrat and Mrs. Mulrooney both believe her, but are at a loss as to how to help her. A number of people held grudges against Church and many are relieved by his death, but who would go so far as to murder him?
Thomas Keneally began his writing career in 1964 and has published thirty-three novels since, most recently Napoleon’s Last Island, Shame and the Captives, and the New York Times bestselling The Daughters of Mars. His novels include Schindler’s List, which won the Booker Prize in 1982, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gossip from the Forest, and Confederates, all of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also written several works of nonfiction, including his boyhood memoir Homebush Boy, The Commonwealth of Thieves, and Searching for Schindler. He is married with two daughters and lives in Sydney, Australia.
Meg Keneally started her working life as a junior public affairs officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, before moving to Dublin to work as a sub-editor and freelance features writer. On returning to Australia, she joined the Daily Telegraph as a general news reporter, founded a public relations company, and has worked in corporate affairs. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her husband and two children.