NED has done the unthinkable: squandered his severely disabled sister’s entire insurance payout. It was an investment that should have supported Angela for the rest of her life, challenging though that existence is, but now the funds are gone – swallowed up by a childhood friend whose financial wheeling and dealing with other people’s money was cut dramatically short when the GFC struck.
Desperate to avoid having to confess his stupidity, Ned stumbles onto an alternative: extortion. After witnessing an off-the-books meeting between a well-known state politician and an even more prominent property developer in a clifftop mansion on ‘Millionaires’ Walk’, Portsea, he realises he’s become privy to something neither man can afford to have publicised.
With the help of his girlfriend, Angela’s carer Mai, Ned drafts an anonymous note demanding payment for his silence.
The plan looks like unravelling, however, when the two men come face to face in a bizarre coincidence. Will the savvy political survivor recognise Ned’s unease and suspect him of being part of the blackmail plot?
Meanwhile, unaware of her brother’s predicament, psychologist Angela is struggling with a dilemma of her own: how to manage the sudden and unwelcome reappearance of the alcoholic ex-husband who might well have been behind the fall down a flight of stairs that caused her quadriplegia. Her recollection of the night she fell is hazy. Could the man she chose to marry – the hometown football star, adored by everyone around them – really have done something like that?
As the group members’ paths become ever-more intertwined, the black and white of moral decision-making merges into waves of grey, revealing strengths and flaws in every one of the six key characters.
Set in affluent beachside Portsea – the Mornington Peninsula’s equivalent of Positano or Saint-Tropez – this novel weaves together the concepts of tragedy, hope, accountability and consequence.