Peter Corris was born in Stawell, Victoria, and was educated during the 1960s at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and the Australian National University. Taking a PhD in history from the latter, Corris began a career as a lecturer and researcher, publishing his PhD thesis on Solomon Islands labour migration in 1973. In 1979 he became literary editor for the National Times. Then, after the success of his first novel, The Dying Trade (1980), he became a full-time writer, quickly establishing a reputation as one of Australia's best writers of crime fiction.
This reputation is based primarily on his best-known work, the Cliff Hardy crime series, which earned him the Ned Kelly Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers Association of Australia. His mixture of sex and violence within a wide range of story themes has been very popular, stimulating an increase in the amount of Australian crime fiction during the 1980s and 1990s. But while Corris's crime fiction approaches fifty titles, he has also written historical fiction, two books about boxing, television scripts and co-authored the autobiographies of Fred Hollows and Ray Barrett. In 2000, he published an autobiographical account of his fight with diabetes.
'Cliff Hardy may still have the moves but he's in trouble. The economy's tanking and he's been conned by an unscrupulous financial advisor and lost everything he's got. Cliff only knows one way, and that's forward, so he's following the money trail.
'It's a twisted road that leads him down deep into Sydney's underbelly, into the territory of big money, bent deals, big yachts and bad people. Cliff's in greater danger than ever before, but he's as tenacious as a dog with a bone.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Hardy has never been much of a family man, so when he meets his second cousin Patrick Malloy it's like being hit with a left hook to the solar plexus - Malloy is his double. Cliff and his cousin become friends and travel to attend a gathering of the Irish Travell - the gypsy-like folk from whom they are descended. On their return, Malloy is brutally murdered - but was the shotgun blast intended for him or for Hardy? Hardy is de-licensed, semi-retired ... but this investigation is personal. The plot becomes still more personal when Malloy's ex-wife, Sheila, comes onto the scene. Hardy has his own enemies and Malloy's to consider as he searches for the killer. Clues point in many directions - to Sheila's motives, to Malloy's suspect business dealings, to his time as a mercenary in Angola.
The search takes Hardy north to a para-military training camp and south to a meeting of Traveller descendants in Kangaroo Valley. Other players have other interests and their playing style is ruthless.' (From the publisher's website.)
'Stripped of his private detective licence and devastated by the murder of his partner Lily Truscott, Cliff Hardy travels to the US to help Lily's brother's tilt for a world boxing title. In San Diego he suffers a heart attack and undergoes a quadruple bypass. He meets nurse Margaret McKinley, an expatriate Australian who is concerned about the disappearance in Sydney of her father - renowned geologist Dr Henry McKinley.
'Hardy takes on the investigation, and it turns out that McKinley had discovered a way to tap into the massive Sydney basin aquifer, a possible solution to the city's water problems. Working with Margaret and his daughter Megan, Hardy confronts an old enemy and opposing forces of big business bent on exploiting the discovery - and prepared to kill for it.
'Energised by the case and by his attachment to Margaret, Hardy obeys the strict rules for the restoration of his health - but in pursuing the truth and the malefactors, he makes his own rules.'