Skin Deep

When washed up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out.

When more tattoos appear – accompanied by visions of war-torn Afghanistan, bikies, boat people, murder, bar fights and a mysterious woman – he begins to dig a little deeper.

Harry’s search leads him to Jess McGrath. She’s successful, married; they are drawn to each other though they have nothing in common but unwanted tattoos and high definition nightmares. Together, they edge closer to unearthing the truth behind the sinister disappearance of an SAS hero and his girlfriend Kyla.

There’s a federal election looming, with pundits tipping a landslide win for opposition leader Andrew Cardinal. Harry knows there’s a link between these disturbing visions and Cardinal’s shadowy past, and is compelled to right wrongs, one way or another.

Gary Kemble
Ned Kelly Year: 
Judges Report: 

Gary Kemble's fine debut begins as an absorbing slow burn, intriguing with its memorable characters, vivid settings, and issues local and global, before building to an action-packed crescendo which sees the likable Harry forced to break the shackles of his 'keep his head down' life, and confront some real nastiness bubbling below the surface of Brisbane politics and power brokers.

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