'As a journalist, Stewart Cockburn was instinctive and fearless. The 16-year-old copy boy who started at the Adelaide Advertiser in 1938 was to have a career in writing, radio and television that spanned more than 45 years. Restless ambition took him to post-war London with Reuters, to Melbourne with the Herald, to Canberra as Press Secretary to Prime Minister Robert Menzies, and to Washington, DC as Press Attaché at the Australian Embassy.' (Publication summary)
A detective on holiday in South Australia stumbles on a cunningly planned murder.
'DICTATORS have many things in common, and General Bratz, ruler of Cyranta, was a typical despot. He had won power by ruthless might, and he maintained it by a reign of terror unparalleled in his country's turbulent history. An army of secret police, grim prisons, and horrid tortures kept his people in subjection, but these things brought no peace of mind to General Bratz, for he knew the Secret Services of half a dozen countries were seeking his most closely-guarded plans for conquering Europe. It is the exciting adventures of a British agent in the seething little kingdom of Cyrania that make such thrilling reading of "The Fall of a Dictator," the novel which Arthur Gask, the well-known Adelaide author, has just completed.'
'New Serial by Arthur Gask', Advertiser, 17 December 1938, p.19.
'Six men are murdered in seven weeks and the most searching enquiry by Scotland Yard fails to disclose any connection between them or any reason anybody could have for killing them. The methods employed are perfectly ordinary, bullet, knife, or bludgeon, and the murders occurred in public places in daylight, yet the investigation is completely held up. It was not until Gilbert Larose, the Australian detective, after a painstaking search for verification of a flimsy guess, built up the first tangible clue that the hunt began. Mr. Gask tells a story of a relentless step by step hunt which brought four men to their deaths.'
'Murder without Motive', Advertiser, 29 November 1935, p.18.