ISBN 978-1-922457-17-2 PAPERBACK
THE NOVEL IS A COVIDCREATIVE PROJECT BY MEMBERS OF THE GILBERT + TOBIN CENTRE OF PUBLIC LAW AT UNSW.
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO UNSW EMERGENCY FUND
VERA JOYCE, brilliant and controversial member of the High battle to the death? Court of Australia is dead – her body found in the shallows of Canberra’s Lake Burley Griffin. Was her death simply an accident? A mugging of an early morning jogger gone wrong? Or is there something more sinister behind the tragic death? Detective Gina Hughes, of the Australian Federal Police, has been called in to investigate, and has her suspicions about the family and friends of the late Justice. Vera’s nephew has a longstanding problem with addiction and stands to inherit a great deal upon Vera’s death – but only, he has recently found out, if he follows Vera’s plan to force him to into rehab. Vera’s ex-boyfriend, Gary Lowell, appears to have good reason to be angry: Vera recently broke off their relationship pending a hearing before the Court in which he was due to appear. Constable Rory Lee is less sure about Hughes’ theory: he thinks the Judge’s nephew was already on the way to recovery, and simply cannot believe that a leading Sydney lawyer would murder a member of the High Court. Instead, his suspicions are focused on Gary’s wife, who has become increasingly irate about the affair with Vera and has been threatening her own form of revenge.
THE CHIEF JUSTICE, meanwhile, has her own suspicions: Vera Joyce was one of the most polarizing justices ever to sit on the Court. Her ‘originalist’ ideas about the Constitution provoked enormous opposition as well as admiration in the legal community, and the Chief Justice fears that perhaps one of the other justices may finally have lost their cool – and let legal disagreements spill over into life. If not, she fears that her own oversight of the Court has been too lax – and there has been a serious lapse in Court security. She therefore asks an old friend, retired Chief Justice Milton, to investigate – and to do so fast, before Detective Hughes comes to her own, less salutary conclusions.