Imagine hearing that Malcolm Turnball was missing, suspected drowned. Well no one panic, he’s not … but that did happen to an Australian Prime Minister, Harold Holt.
On the morning of 17 December 1967, Mr Holt, our seventeenth prime minister, went for a walk and swim near his holiday home at Portsea, Victoria. He was a good swimmer according to his family but ran into some turbulent surf, then suddenly disappeared a short distance offshore. Despite prolonged sea and air searches no trace of his body was ever found. EVER.
That became the inspiration for my second book in the Mitchell Parker series, “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.
I can’t confess to knowing the full story about Mr Holt—it was before my time—but I found an interesting take on it when I scrambled upon a book by a British journalist, Anthony Grey. As a journalist for Reuters, Anthony was detained for 27 months in China from 1967 to 1969. He believed that Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt was a spy for China and documented his theories in his book that he spent over a decade researching – “The Prime Minister was a Spy”.
Freaky though isn’t it, to ‘lose’ a prime minister? I twisted and turned the tale and left Mitchell Parker and his team—Nick, Samantha and Ellen—to work out who the baddies were and who was on their side. See if you can work it out before them. Hope you like it.
*Clipping: SEARCH FOR P.M. GOES ON Mr Holt swam out long way, vanished. (1967, December 18). The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 – 1995), p. 1. Retrieved December 10, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107037573