& the World of Murray Whelan

The Big Ask


Four a.m. and the smart money’s home in bed. More importantly for Murray Whelan, his son Red isn’t. He’s gone missing, on the run somewhere in Sydney. So what’s Murray doing in a greasy spoon at the fruit and veg markets, nursing his facial bruising and talking to Donny Maitland about a grass-roots takeover of the truckies’ union?

Working a deal for Angelo Agnelli, Minister for Transport and sparring partner of the United Haulage Workers, that’s what. Business as usual for Murray. Until the bloke who inflicted the bruises turns up to do some more inflicting. And then turns up dead. Murray needs to stay out of trouble long enough to find Red. But that, it seems, might be a pretty big ask.


“It’s a rollicking good read of sex, political intrigue and murder.”
– Sunday Mail

“The great joy of Maloney is that he seems effortlessly to marry tightly constructed crime stories to great satirical vision…there’s no doubting the brilliance of the writing.”
– Ian Rankin, Age

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

“The Big Ask is full of laugh-out-loud humour as well as jaw-dropping accuracy in describing Australian political life.”
– Marie Claire

“There is only one Australian crime writer on my list this year—Shane Maloney. His satires on Australian political life are always hilarious.”
– Examiner

“Melbourne has found a fresh spokesman—Shane Maloney…Visitors could use The Big Ask as a Melbourne street directory.”
– West Australian