Introducing Stella Hardy, a wisecracking social worker with a thirst for social justice, good laksa, and alcohol.
Stella's phone rings. A young African boy, the son of one of her clients, has been murdered in a dingy back alley. Stella, in her forties and running low on empathy, heads into the night to comfort the grieving mother. But when she gets there, she makes a discovery that has the potential to uncover something terrible from her past -- something she thought she'd gotten away with.
Then Stella's neighbour Tania mysteriously vanishes. When Stella learns that Tania is the heir to a billion-dollar mining empire, Stella realises her glamorous young friend might have had more up her sleeve than just a perfectly toned arm. Who is behind her disappearance?
Enlisting the help of her friend Senior Constable Phuong Nguyen, Stella's investigation draws her further and further into a dark world of drug dealers, sociopaths, and killers, such as the enigmatic Mr Funsail, whose name makes even hardened criminals run for cover.
One thing is clear: Stella needs to find answers fast -- before the people she's looking for find her instead.
Social worker Stella Hardy is an engaging heroine, blending toughness, reflection, and humour; just screaming for an ongoing series. Green's debut adroitly traverses modern-day Australia, from mining magnates to immigrant life, rural communities to the inner city, and the dark seams running beneath. A polished and satisfying first bow.