THE TORCH

Published by HarperCollinsAustralia (Fourth Estate) and released on 1 February 2015

Melbourne, 1960:  Mrs Blayney and her twelve year old son live in South Richmond.  At least, they did, until their house burnt down.  The prime suspect - one Keith Aloysius Gonzaga Kavanagh, also aged 12 - has mysteriously disappeared.  Our narrator, the Blayney kid, sets off on a covert mission to find young Keith, who he privately dubs 'Flame Boy', to save him from the small army of irate locals - not to mention his mother - who want to see him put away.


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Flame Boy has not only made himself scarce, but he's done so with a very important briefcase of secrets, which the kid is keen to get hold of for his grandfather, a shady character who has some secrets of his own.  But the kid has got a lot going on:  he's also organising a new gang of kids; coping with the ups and downs of having a girl friend (who likes to kiss - a lot); trying to avoid Keith's dangerous prison-escapee father, Fergus Kavanagh, also an arsonist, who is suspected of selling secrets to the Russians; and all the while wondering how he can get his hands on the most beautiful object in the world: the Melbourne Olympic Torch.

An exciting and moving novel about loss, discovery and living life to the full.



THE CARTOGRAPHER

Published by HarperCollinsAustralia (Fourth Estate) and released on 1 February 2012!

An eleven-year-old boy witnesses a violent crime. Just one year before, he looked on helplessly as his identical twin died violently. His determination that he himself is the link changes his life. 

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The Cartographer is a captivating novel about a tragic figure in a dark place. The nameless child who tells the story handles the terrors of his life by adopting the strengths of fictional pop culture characters he admires, drawing on comics, radio and television dramas, and movies, finally recreating himself as a superhero who saves himself by mapping, and who attempts to redeem himself by giving up his persona so that another may live again. His only mentors are a professional standover man, his shady grandfather, and an incongruous neighbourhood couple who intervene in an oddly coincidental way.  

In the dark, dangerous lanes and underground drains of grimy 1959 Melbourne, The Cartographer is a story bristling with outrageous wit and irony about an innocent who refuses to give in, a story peopled with a richness of shifty, dodgy and downright malicious bastards, mixed with a modicum of pseudo-aunts, astonishing super heroes, and a few coincidentally loving characters, some of whom are found in the most unlikely places.


Copyright ©  Peter Twohig. All rights reserved.