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The Big Ask (Murray Whelan Novels) [Kindle Edition]

Shane Maloney
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

The fourth Murray Whelan adventure.

Murray is in serious trouble. With a disastrous election result looming, his days as a political minder seem numbered. But when his boss Angelo Agnelli picks a fight with the trucking industry and Murray finds himself on the receiving end of a fist at a city nightclub, his employment prospects are the least of his problems.

And that's before he finds himself in the back of a truck at the fruit and vegetable market at five in the morning, sampling Heather Maitland's melons. With a runaway son on his hands, the police at his heels and a gun buried in the backyard, Murray faces his toughest test yet.

'Another triumph for Maloney, who is one of our best and most consistently original crime writers. Highly recommended.' Canberra Times

Shane Maloney is one of Australia's most popular novelists and a regular contributor to The Monthly. His award-winning and much loved Murray Whelan series - Stiff, The Brush-Off, Nice Try, The Big Ask, Something Fishy and Sucked In - is characterised by a strong sense of humour and an acute sense of Melbourne's political and cultural nuances. He has been published in the UK, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Finland and the U.S.

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"Maloney just gets better, and Murray Whelan remains one of the most reliable and rewarding sleuths in the business." --Ian Rankin "Murray is a great creation. . . . Takes the wisecracking wise guy into a whole new realm." --"Houston Chronicle" "Bubbles with wise-guy wit, macho machinations, and testosterone tactics . . . The wit is sharp and on target." --"Providence Journal" "Full of laugh-out-loud humor." --"Marie Claire" "The political intrigues of a South Australian city may not seem the stuff of high drama, but they are--and Whelan's a delight." --"Seattle Times/Post-Intelligencer"

About the Author

Shane Maloney is deputy director of the Brunswick Institute, a weather board think-tank financed by his wife. The Brush-Off was awarded the 1996 Ned Kelly Prize for Best Crime Novel, and short-listed for the 1996 Vance Palmer Prize for fiction. Shane Maloney is also the author of Something Fishy, Stiff, Nice Try, The Big Ask and Sucked In.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 398 KB
  • Print Length: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (16 May 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005651PF8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #627,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What has happened to Murray Whelan??? 25 May 2010
By liveenl
I just loved the other books in the series. Very witty and laugh-out-loud funny, I was expecting the same here, but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I had recommended this to a friend before reading it myself, and was somewhat confused when he returned it a few days later without a word. I now know why. It's just a run-of-the-mill politico, with none of the humour of his other outings
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 15 May 2014
By Lorraine Foti - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual Shane Maloney did not disappoint. I love Murray Whelan, never more than when is roaming the neighbour hood of my childhood. My heart just flutters with joy and laughter as the times this book is set in come rolling back. I am waiting for no. 7.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Australian masterpiece from Shane Maloney. 13 Dec. 2013
By ROGER CLARKSON - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The master of Australian idiom and dialogue. His characters are fully fleshed out with all the flaws which even our heroes possess. The irony he brings to his portrayal of the Labor Party is exquisite.
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing 28 Jun. 2013
By Alastair Browne - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Yet another in the Murray Whelan series where the Labor politician is the consummate 'go to' man to sort out the problems of the party and also get involved in solving crimes. Great, witty writing which made me guffaw a fair bit. The romantic interest keeps the pages turning.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Aussie crime novel 7 May 2005
By F. J. Harvey - Published on
The dominant nations of contemporary crime writing are America and the UK at least in terms of critical and commercial acclaim .I wouild suggest that if anyone were minded to analyse reviews of crime novels on this site by authorial nationality they would finD at least 90% of reviews were of books by authors from these two nations .In the process many writers from nations outside the Transatlantic axis are neglected and several fine Australian writers are too little known outside Australia .Shane Maloney is a good example of what I mean .His crime novels feature Murray Whelan and are set in Melbourne during the 1980'S

Murray is not a tradtional protagonist of the crime series type -he is not in law enforcement being neither a cop ,a P.I or a medical examiner .Nor is he the gifted amateur exposing the blinkered police force by meddling in crime and solving it be brilliant ratiocinative powers .Rather ,he is a political adviser to Angelo Agneli ,the state Transport Minister ,and his criminous cases arise from his job and more by accident that desire .

In "The Big Ask " -volume 4 in the series ,but a stand alone work , he is asked by the Minister to help him get re-selected for his safe seat in Parliament .Agnelli wishes to use him as a stalking horse to gauge the strength of opposition and also for him to find a rival candidate to run against the head of the Hauliers Union his strongest critic .Whelan fixes on an old friend and mentor ,an independent trucker named Donny Maitland and sets him up with a slush fund to run a campaign .

One evening he is viciously attacked and beaten by an unknown man in a nightclub ;when he subsequently encounters him again there is a further altercation and his assilant winds up dead .He was a ne'er -do-well named Darren Stuhl ,the son of the biggest haulier boss in the state

The police suspect Murray ,Stuhl's cronies suspect Donny and exert presure on Murray to lie about having seen Maitland kill Darren

The result is tragedy with Maitland being killed and the event set up to look like suicide ,the result of remorse for having murdered Darren .

Whelan sets out to get to the bottom of the case and clear his old friend's name

There is a sub -plot involving Murrays son ,Red ,who absconds from the private school to which his mother ,Murray's ex-wife has sent him

The book is enjoyable and amusing with a distinctly Cart Hiaasen feel to it -it is cheerfully cynical about politics and politicians .I would serve two cautionary notes however -the book while not relentlessly foul mouthed does have its share of expletives and there is some violence .Nor would I recommend the book for lovers of the traditional whodunnit -the killer is identified quite early on and the book is more about how justice will be served than about deducing the culprit

Its funny ,sharp and cynical making a change from the usual crime novel in setting and ambience

As an aside I would urge crime readers to try mure Aussie writers -there are some good ones out there as per example Marele Day and Barry Maitland
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly amusing 3 Jan. 2002
By Tom Munro - Published on
Shane Molondy is one of Australia's newer and more succesful crime writers. This book is set in the dying days of the Victorian Labour government in the early 90's before it was voted out of office in a landslide. The hero Murray Whelan works as a staffer to a Labour Cabinet minister and faces the problems of a dying government.
In addition to these problems he is divorced and his son goes missing. A short time later the son of a rich transport magnate is murdered and Whelan becomes a suspect.
The book is hysterically funny a sort of Australian Carl Hiaasen.
It also conveys a feel for both the political world and the inner suburbs of Melbourne. One of the more enjoyable crime novels to come out in some time.
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