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Coups, wars and revolutions; sporting greats and superstars. A veteran foreign correspondent opens his files on a bizarre world full of shakers and newsmakers.
Nugan Hand Bank conspiracy: Ripe for a TV series
Renewed interest in the infamous Nugan Hand Bank, a CIA front for money laundering and drug running, has reinvigorated an award-winning Australian author’s quest to turn his novel on its sensational collapse into a major television series.
Wayne Grogan, whose book Heavy Allies was launched by former NSW Premier and American history buff Bob Carr in 2006, has spent the years since working on a TV adaptation of his “factionalised” novel, which reveals Nugan Hand’s relationship with the underworld and how the bank flooded Sydney with heroin in the 1970s – creating an endless junkie plague.
Grogan – winner of a prestigious Ned Kelly Award for Crime Writing – is now well advanced on turning Heavy Allies into a TV series. He is collaborating with one of the most respected script consultants in the industry, Ray Devitt, who was script editor on the acclaimed Animal Kingdom, the crime drama that earned actress Jacki Weaver an Academy Award nomination.
Interest in Nugan Hand has reignited since 60 Minutes found former CIA agent Michael Hand living in Idaho in the United States – 35 years after the bank’s co-founder and kingpin vanished when the bank collapsed, ripping off investors for more than $50 million.
Grogan says: “The rise and fall of the Nugan Hand Bank remains the greatest criminal conspiracy in Australia’s history. This is the real Underbelly, with all the ingredients to make it a world-class TV series. It is ripe material for people who want to invest in a quality drama about political and criminal machinations, set against the backdrop of CIA dirty tricks against Australia, America’s supposed great ally.”
A bold and provocative novelist shines an ugly light on the misogyny and sexual violence that stains a nation's history.
Welcome to Terror Australis, a landscape littered with the victims of violent men who have preyed on women since the First Fleet arrived with a cargo of ragged women ... and a place where evil Islamic terrorism lurks.
Award-winning novelist Wayne Grogan weaves a contemporary tale of misogyny bred from colonial Australia's appalling treatment of women. Fact and fiction, characters imagined and real (like notorious serial killer Ivan Milat) blend seamlessly in a world where women exist to be hunted and abused.
The novel is written in the first person, from the observations and experience of a fictitious reformed rapist who is an ex-drug addict-turned-antiquarian book dealer.
Terror Australis, framed as a noir detective story, also contains a chilling terrorist plot: a soft Australian suburb marked out for destruction by radical Islamists in thrall to the belief that they are performing the will of Allah. The novel explores the divide between Islam and Christianity, the reasons why Islam is seen as a religion hijacked by extremists, and examines the fault lines between Christianity and Islamic fundamentalism.
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