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Detective Ryan Gregorian, colleagues and friends, Alan Dawson and Christian Masters, are on their way back home from a holiday in Vincentia, NSW. Their departure is put on hold due to blazing bush fires, road closures, fuel shortages and the discovery of an unidentified body in the next door villa.


Due to the bushfires, the three detectives hold the fort and ensure the crime scene is not disturbed, until the local police arrive. Deprived of the usual technological aids and the presence of a forensic team; the three detectives resort to guesswork and door knocking which results in the discovery of a second body. They reluctantly enlist the assistance of tourists to contain the crime scene. 


Though anxious to get home, they don’t want to leave until the two murders are solved. Racing against time, the detectives sift through the abundance of seemingly unrelated clues. Can they solve the case before the roads open or will they leave two dead bodies and two unsolved crimes behind?  

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Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 218
Fiction Crime

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Helen Denkha
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2017
Language: English


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Friday 17th February

6. 05am – A villa in Vincentia, NSW


“It’s a lovely sunrise, let’s sail into it.”

“You can’t sail into the sunrise, silly.”

“I’m going to try, please come with me. I don’t want to leave you behind.”

“You’re being silly, come back…come back damn it!”

Ryan grabbed Rosemary’s hand and pulled her back forcefully trying to stop her from walking into the sunrise. When she turned, he realised with a jolt that she had turned into a man who looked very much like her. Then he heard Rosemary’s voice though he could not see her.

“Ryan, this is my brother.”

“But you don’t have a brother.”

“I did once, long before you came along.”

Ryan rolled over to the other side of the bed so quickly that he almost fell. He balanced himself by placing his hands firmly on the carpeted floor and was instantly awake. He wasn’t ready to get up yet so deliberately closed his eyes again and the funny dream returned.

“That’s a funny looking sunrise, look at the sky,” said a familiar voice sounding very close.

“This town’s got a really bad pollution problem. I’ve never seen the sky that colour and look at that weird looking orange ball in the middle of it,” replied another familiar man’s voice.

“That’s not the sunrise, man. I’ve seen it before, there must be bushfires somewhere close by.”

“Wake up sleepy head, remember what we said about getting an early start back home.”

“Stop shaking me!” said Ryan; he sat up realising the last conversation had not been part of his dream.

“Ryan, look out there! I think we’ve got bushfires close by,” said Christian.

“Turn on the television or radio,” suggested Ryan sleepily and without much interest.

“We’ve lost electricity overnight,” said Alan.

“I don’t suppose it occurred to either one of you to ring up and find out what’s going on in the world,” snapped Ryan. He was not a morning person at the best of times and he hated to be woken up suddenly. Though he was speaking to Alan and Christian, his thoughts were on the earlier part of his dream. He felt uneasy about Rosemary. He knew that her insistence on sailing into the sunrise was not to be taken literally but wondered if she had tried to do something silly in his absence. The fact that she had suddenly turned into a man, he interpreted as possibly taking on responsibilities that he would normally do when he was home. Suddenly he was very anxious to get home.

“Alan, please pass me my mobile phone. I want to let Rosemary know I’ll be home for brunch.”

Alan took the mobile out of the charger where it had been all night and handed it to Ryan.

“Damn it I’ve got no battery,” said Ryan.

“The electricity must have gone off in the middle of the night. Here, use my phone, we’ll charge yours in the car.” Alan handed over his mobile.

“Come on Christian; let’s give the man some privacy.” 

As they closed the door behind them Christian said, “Alan, I wasn’t going to eavesdrop on Ryan’s conversation with his wife.” 

“I know that, you idiot. I thought it would be better to get you out of the firing line.”

“Why, what’s going to happen?”

“Wait till he finds out he has to take a cold shower and miss out on his morning coffee.”

“I think I can do something about coffee. There is a gas stove out on the balcony. I’m sure I saw some gas cylinders out there too.”

“It’s a good thing we’re leaving today. As much as I love bonding with nature I can only do it when I have all the modern comforts.”

Christian had the gas stove working a few minutes later. They took coffee and sugar out to the balcony and after a one-minute consultation decided they would risk the milk that had been sitting in the fridge all night. They also agreed out of courtesy to let Ryan have the first cup of coffee…just in case.

A few minutes later they heard a door slam followed by a few choice expletives. They looked at each and said in unison,

“He’s found out about the cold water!”


Radio station news update on the South Coast of NSW


The bush fires which started at three o’clock this morning continue to spread around the South Coast of New South Wales. Eighty percent of the residents of Huskisson have been evacuated and over two hundred people are taking refuge in the local R.S.L. There is no electricity, the Automatic Teller Machines are down and for those who have the cash to pay there is a fuel shortage. The forecast is for further hot and dry winds and no rain is predicted for another three days. Back burning has begun. Five hundred fire fighters, including volunteers, are at the moment trying to contain the crisis. The roads to and from Huskisson, Jervis Bay and Vincentia are closed…


Huskisson Police Station


The harassed looking constable ran from one telephone to another trying to reassure the callers that everything was under control. He had answered eleven calls since his shift started at five a.m. all claiming to have seen teenage boys around their properties acting suspiciously. The callers were sure they were arsonists and one and all insisted the police send someone out immediately. Constable Tate could not ignore the calls as two of them so far had turned out to be genuine. The firebugs were almost as deadly as the dry winds. Two seventeen-year-old boys were being questioned at that moment. Tate grabbed the telephone that was nearest to him and rolled his eyes as the caller started with the inevitable, “I want to report something suspicious…”

He sighed, “Yes madam, can I have your name please?”

“Don’t worry about my name. Just listen to what I have to say.”

“But madam…”

“Listen to me. I saw someone tampering with a car last night, a few minutes later a woman got into the car and drove away. I think she may have met with an accident. Can you please look into it?”

“What exactly do you want me to look into?”

“Have you had any reports of a dead woman in a car?”

“What sort of a car?”

“I don’t know.”

“What did the woman look like?”

“I don’t know exactly, but she had very short hair, at first I thought it was a man.”

“What else can you tell me?”

“Nothing, just check it out. If you hear of the accidental death of a young woman with very short hair, make sure you report it to your superiors as homicide. Someone tampered with her car.”

“Can you give me a description of the person that was tampering…?”

The line went dead. Constable Tate shook his head in disgust. As if everything wasn’t bad enough. He thought it must be the heat; it seemed to bring out all the psychos. 



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