'Meet Cliff Hardy. Smoker, drinker, ex-boxer. And private investigator.
When the wealthy Bryn Gutteridge hires Hardy to help his sister, it looks as if blackmail is the problem. Until the case becomes more brutal, twisted and shocking than even Hardy could have guessed.' (Text Classics blurb)
'It's no secret that the people who hire Hardy have nowhere else to turn.
Take Lady Catherine Chatterton, widow of the eminent judge. She's desperate to hand down the mantle of her husband's legal reign (not to mention the money) to someone more deserving than her boozy daughter Bettina.
So she hires Hardy to find her missing grandson - a tall order considering the only evidence of the young man's existence came two years earlier from an ageing drunk. Funny thing - when Hardy finds that drunk there is a helpful photograph... and within the hour, the drunk is dead. Now Hardy's on a murder case.' (Publisher's blurb)
He needs a nice smooth job, something to pay the bills - and keep his glass filled.
But smooth this one isn't. Ted Tarleton is a very rich bookie whose beautiful, spoiled daughter, Noni, is missing. Tarleton wants Hardy to find her. The logical place to start is with Noni's boyfriend, but the actor has long since ceased to keep tabs on her.
So Hardy makes for seedy La Perouse, where the local aboriginals recognise Noni's photo. She's the one they call "white meat". And Hardy will take more than a few blows as he follows her into the violent wreckage of her own past...