This dramatic political novel features a cast of rogues, opportunists and idealists set against a background of corruption, strikes and union bashing in Queensland.
Yet this is not the 1980s but the 1920s and Jack O’Leary — socialist, railway worker and fiery unionist — befriends Fred Paterson, a young lawyer who has joined the newly-formed Communist Party of Australia. They face two very powerful opponents; Queensland Premier and Labor big man Bill McCormack is trying to bully his party into following his line, supported by his mate Ted Theodore.
Years of behind-the-scenes dealings and manipulation of government contracts have cemented their friendship and turned them into wealthy men. When McCormack and Theodore direct members of the ALP to sign an anti-Communist pledge or be expelled, Jack and Fred become part of a campaign to hold the Party true to its socialist roots. Ultimately, McCormack and Theodore fall victim to their own vendettas when Jack’s union, the Australian Railways Union, exposes their crooked dealings, ending their political careers.
Thinking he can make a difference for his members, Jack becomes organiser for the ARU but lives with a secret that, if uncovered, will end his political aspirations. However an altogether different danger stalks his future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dale Lorna Jacobsen is a freelance writer who has the good fortune to live in the bush just outside Maleny in the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast.
She is passionate about grass-roots history, which led to the publication of three novels: Union Jack (2011), political intrigue set in Queensland in the 1920s; Yenohan's Legacy (2013), a story of love and life in the High Country of Australia, Being Lucy (2018), the story of a mountain recluse set in East Gippsland. In 2019 she co-authored Antarctic Engineer: Memoir of John Russell with 99-year-old John.
In 2013 she fulfilled a life-long dream, taking part in an expedition to Antarctica, and produced an eBook, Why Antarctica? a Ross Sea odyssey (2015). Dale has since returned twice to the Antarctic.