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James McDonald, after all his earlier adventures, has settled happily into his false identity and home in Ardrossan, Tasmania. He is enjoying the regular rhythm of life as a respected member of the unorthodox village community. 

His housemate, retired Sergeant of Police, Edward Fraser, is living his own life while sharing James’ home. All their needs seem to be met. 

The other police officer who we met in Tartan Identity is now also retired from the force and looking to achieve his own dream with a tourist project near Cairns – at the other end of the country. 

However, Michael Gillespie is in a lot of trouble and sends out a cry for help to which Edward responds, taking James along for the adventure; an adventure that nearly gets them both very dead.

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Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 166
Genre: Crime

Cover: Clive Dalkins

By the same author 


Black Comedy

Black Tie

Identity Theft

Tartan Identity

The Dog Catcher from Keister North


Paul Frisby
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2017
Language: English



With the incident at the Stag Hotel behind them, James Macdonald has settled into his Tartan Identity in the Tasmanian Village of Ardrossan with former Police Sergeant Edward Fraser sharing his house. They answer a call for help from former Constable Michael Gillespie who shared their adventure that evening and is now in trouble with his new life in Queensland. Identity and Mr Maslow follows the three of them and other characters from Tartan Identity as they all try to achieve fulfilment of their hierarchy of needs. 

Paul Frisby





So, gentle reader, we come to the third, and as far as I have planned it, the last episode in the Identity series of novels.

I was content with two, but then the ideas for the plot and sub plots in this one started to brew in my fertile imagination and I couldn’t let them go; or they wouldn’t let go of me. Something kept nagging at me … what if?

Hopefully, even if you haven’t read the first two books in what is now a trilogy, this story will make some sense; although being the third book in the series it is inevitable references are made to the earlier ones. You might even be prompted to read the first two books and see how James Macdonald and Edward Fraser came to be sharing James’ house in the little Tasmanian village of Ardrossan; which is where we start. 

I have offered up my customary range of situations for you to make moral judgements about what the characters do, and in the process thrown in a couple of what the baseball players call curveballs. Most of all this one is, I hope, fun. There are red herrings (although one of them is pink) to intrigue or infuriate you as well. 

At the time of writing no one has yet contacted me with their guess about the identity of the Tasmanian village that Ardrossan is based on. It does exist if you want to track it down. I’ll give you some clues. Ardrossan House isn’t there, it’s been enlarged and transported from another town in Tasmania and plonked onto the hill; and the real pub is a bit bigger than the one in the books. James’ cottage does exist (roughly as he first found it in Tartan Identity at the time of writing). It has been sold after some years on offer – so if you fancied it you have missed out on that renovation challenge.

The place near Cairns where some of the action in this novel is set does not, to the best of my knowledge, exist; although you never know. The general environment certainly does and the elements that make the fictitious site do, even if they are in other disparate places.

The most excellent Pullman Reef Hotel at Cairns which features in the story is in my humble opinion most worthy of your consideration for your accommodation if you are visiting the city. There was no sponsorship involved in my selecting it for the novel; this is not a paid advertisement. If any reader knows the establishment well I apologise that I have taken some small liberties with its geography for the purposes of the tale. 

The characters in the book all exist, or at least bits of them do and I trust the amalgam I have made of the bits in each ring true for you. If anyone feels like picking the characters up and writing Ardrossan – the Next Generation or something similar, you are most welcome. Just contact Zeus Publications and we can talk about your making a small increase to my standard of living. Otherwise, I trust you will enjoy Identity and Mr Maslow.


Tasmania had been bloody cold in the winter but even though he was now in the tropics former Senior Constable Michael Gillespie woke feeling even colder than he had ever felt down south. Once his mind had established that he was awake enough to actually feel cold he began to appraise where he was and the condition he was in.

He found that besides being cold it was also somewhat dark, so he concluded that he had to be in one of the rooms in the old concrete fortifications, or it had to have been some time since his world had been turned upside down, or both.

His six foot four body did not seem to be immediately responding very well to any suggestion he made to it that it move, so he looked around using his eyes to better ascertain the exact geography of his location. The first thing he saw were piles of upturned paint cans, one of which had split open when trashed by his visitors. The open one had sent a six-litre tongue of light cream plastic paint across the floor to where he lay. His gaze followed, with the painful turning of his neck, the bulging flow path of the paint back towards himself and he saw that it ended a few inches from his right thigh. There it had stopped and hardened against a counter flow of congealed blood. Quite a bit of blood. Hmm!

Gillespie tried to get his right arm underneath his side, and did so with a struggle, tides of painful protest coming from the muscles in his back and the arm itself. Bruised but not broken he said to himself now remembering that he had been attacked and had resisted, at least for a bit. Being relatively young, good natured, an ex-copper with a degree in criminology and a major in psychology, and speaking several languages, some quite fluently, had done nothing to protect him from a coward punch, or a bang over the head with a six-litre can of paint swung by its handle with intent. If that was what indeed had hit him. He fancied that, if his memory was not completely false, that indeed had been what had happened.

He tried to move other bits of himself, one by one, and found that his body hurt all over. His right leg in particular did not seem to want to function very well, and if he let go of the floor the world tended to sway around a lot. He was sitting/lying uncomfortably on his wallet which was in the back pocket of his shorts and he could feel pain from where it had been sat on for whatever length of time he had sat, or indeed lain, on it. He was also conscious of nausea. Probably a touch of concussion he concluded. The fact that his wallet was still where it had been before the assault suggested that robbery was not his assailant’s motive.

The minimal movement he had made had appeared to start his leg bleeding again, although it wasn’t pumping blood out. He could tell because it had been a warm tropical day before the excrement hit the rotating blades and he had only been wearing a T shirt with his shorts as he was working inside. Usually shorts alone sufficed at this latitude, at this time of year.

The shape of the wound in his thigh was not clear but its location was evident. He concluded the machete had not severed an artery – that’s right the fucker had a machete didn’t he – but obviously he had been content with wounding, or had even been scared by what he had done and run. Presumably his visitors had been sent only to put the frighteners on him, not kill him. It did not occur to him that there was a third option; they wanted him incapacitated and off the property for a while if not able to get him off permanently.

He again considered his dizziness. I’m suffering from shock as well as concussion he decided.

The satellite phone that was his principal way of communicating with the outside world was in his truck and the Toyota was at least fifty metres away, and uphill. He knew he wasn’t going to be able to make it even if he crawled and fainted, and crawled and fainted, his way to it. I’m possibly going to fucking die here he concluded.

Think. The flow of blood from his leg could not be allowed to continue for long or he would pass out again; perhaps permanently; but getting help was as urgent as wasting efforts on stemming the flow.

Perhaps he should try to take of his T shirt and make a dressing of sorts. The feedback from his bruised body suggested that the idea might not be achievable in the short term. Moving his upper body to that the extent that he had already tried generated a great deal of pain; and he did not feel that he had the strength to rip his T shirt off. He might have at least one broken rib.

On the other hand.

Gillespie struggled, scooting on his right buttock, painfully pushing his body with his left leg against the roughness of the unfinished floor, to the pile of orange life jackets and fishing gear in the corner. He had been lazy and not taken them to the other blockhouse but only carried them this far from his boat to put them under cover after the last time he had gone out to get a feed. He batted them out of the way until he found what he wanted … and then as the world started to turn again he sensed the effort might have been too much. He paused to breathe a bit and focus.

Holding onto consciousness while he grasped his prize, the big man dragged himself slowly towards the rusting second-world war steel door jamb that, now without a door, opened onto the outside world. There was moonlight his brain noted; heaven only knew how long he had been unconscious. He felt and found what he was looking for with his fingers. At least he still had them all and they all seemed to work.

He flipped up the red safety cover, pressed the button beneath and activated the EPIRB. Sighting the doorway again he pushed the machine out over the threshold as firmly as he could manage hoping it would roll far enough away to give a decent signal. He was just wondering if he had been a total dickhead and should have made an effort to stand the fucking thing upright to ensure it sent a clear signal when the world started getting into soft focus and roll most disconcertingly.

However hard he tried to hold onto it, consciousness wouldn’t come back, wouldn’t come back, wouldn’t come back. Then everything went black. 




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