Silent Kill

silent-kill-coverSaturday, 22 March 2014

A silent kill, Cliff Hardy ’s friendly Intelligence Agency acquaintance informs him, is one of those rare instances where intelligence chiefs sanction the removal, leaving no body, witnesses or clues, of people whose continued existence constituted a serious threat.

To national security? Hardy asks.

Yes, Josh Carey responds, but more often to the organisation itself.

That exchange takes place at the beginning of Chapter 28, but it’s fairly obvious from very early in the piece that the ex-firebrand student agitator turned populist whistleblower Rory O’Hara would be a prime candidate for a silent kill. 

Given that description, O’Hara obviously has enemies, and he still hasn’t recovered from a hit-and-run incident that was almost certainly not an accident when Hardy’s ex-commando, stuntman and actor Jack Buchanan approaches him with a job offer. 

Buchanan has sunk a lot of money into O’Hara’s forthcoming speaking tour, which is going to attract very big, high-paying audiences and will be followed by a documentary, high-profile television interviews and a book deal.

The tour is also going to publicise O’Hara’s new political party, which looks like attracting significant defectors from both major parties and The Greens. That means you’ve got all the major parties as potential enemies, along with the people behind a massive development project in the western suburbs that  O’Hara had exposed as shonky and corrupt.

That adds a fundamentalist Christian church, a major trade union, a superannuation fund and … an outlaw bikie gang to the enemies list, along with corrupt local councillors and a state government minister.

The fear, as far as Buchanan is concerned, is that there’s a traitor lurking in O’Hara’s entourage. He wants Hardy to act as a combination of bodyguard, security consultant and traitor detector.

The first stop on the speaking tour is Wollongong, which is also where it ends after O’Hara’s girlfriend is abducted and the abductor is murdered. So much for the security consultant gig.


© Ian Hughes 2012