John Dale is the author of the true-crime biography Huckstepp, the novels Dark Angel, The Dogs Are Barking, Leaving Suzie Pye and Detective Work, a novella Plenty, and the memoir Wild Life, an investigation into the fatal shooting of his grandfather in 1940s Tasmania. John's essays, reviews and non-fiction have appeared in a wide variety of journals and newspapers. He teaches writing at UTS and lives in Sydney.
`A significant, original work that challenges as much as it
reveals.' The Australian
A brilliantly constructed record of one of Kings Cross' most infamous characters. A great city story. * The Australian *
A fine and disciplined piece of writing. * HQ *
Only the very famous - or infamous - are known by a single name. Huckstepp conjures memories of the bad old days in Sydney; of a time when cops and crims were as likely to be allies as enemies. In the age of Underbelly, John Dale's new edition of Huckstepp is a timely reminder of the human cost behind the headlines. Through extensive interviews with those who knew, loved and used Sallie-Anne Huckstepp, Dale vividly recreates a time when heroin was currency, and corruption and murder were the everyday tools of violent men. It is a deadly, dangerous, brutal world, depicted with realism, not romanticism. For some, the name Huckstepp will forever carry a frisson of excitement, the promise of secrets, sex, drugs and crime. In this book, Dale ensures that Sallie-Anne's name will also forever remind us of that fateful moment when a young woman with a gap-toothed smile and a story to tell naively believed that publicity would guarantee her protection. Huckstepp is still famous, but her story runs deeper than the headlines. In this book, Dale takes the reader beyond the underbelly, into the very belly of the beast. -- P.M. Newton