The knife meets the whetstone

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  • Published 20050805
  • ISBN: 9780733314537
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

WRITER FRANK MOORHOUSE has said that Queensland’s Gold Coast is the perfect destination for an annual nervous breakdown. The place is an abrasive amalgam of Kings Cross and the Costa del Sol, strips of powdered sand and garish light, pot-bellied tourists and cosmetically altered locals. Here, skin can harden like leather.

It’s a place where tough southern cops come to retire, only to find the criminals of their past have also settled in the neighbourhood to see out their lives in the sunshine. I recently bumped into a senior officer of my acquaintance who once commanded one of western Sydney’s toughest precincts. Just retired, he had bought a house on the Isle of Capri, and a boat, and was already in coast apparel – patterned shirt and loafers. On a stroll through Surfers Paradise one evening with his wife, he had seen two gangsters who had haunted his career. They, too, were in bright shirts and slip-ons. He merely shook his head, speechless.

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