A darkly humorous novel about modern Australia and what it means to be a good person.

It’s 2016. Lance Alcocke, sole heir to an iron ore fortune, forty-ish bachelor, has just lost control of his life’s work. His newly opened mine, Madeleine’s Monster, named after his pioneering, iron-fisted grandmother, was supposed to be a workers’ paradise in the Pilbara. But the Monster can’t cover its costs and Lance’s Korean financiers are trying to steal his company out from under him. Lance has appointed administrators to APC Minerals, and his 1200 workers have lost their jobs.

Among those newly unemployed when the Monster goes under is young engineer Will Fulbright. Will’s downhill slide has been gathering pace for some time. His formerly loved-up girlfriend, Justine Jamison, director of the refugee advocacy group Free All Refugee Children! (FARC!) and lefty girl about town, doesn’t seem to like him much anymore. Will has no income, not many prospects, a slightly out of control drug problem, and finds himself back on his mother’s couch in Fairfield. Meanwhile, out on the Bronte Cutting, Will’s old employer, Lance Alcocke, and Will’s girlfriend Justine are on a personal collision course of their own.

This is a novel of our times. It is about money, class, race, privilege, families, friends, lovers, duplicity and corruption . . . and whether it’s possible for anyone to get what they deserve any more.

ABOUT RICHARD MCHUGH: Richard McHugh lives in Sydney with his partner and children.  In his day job he is one of Australia’s leading senior counsel, appearing for clients ranging from The Chaser to Westpac.  His comic novels explore relationships, money and class in contemporary Australia.  His first book, Charlie Anderson’s General Theory of Lying, was published in 2015.  His second, The Cutting, was published in 2022.