Author(s): Brendan James Murray
A chance encounter in a fish-'n'-chip shop set Brendan Murray on the trail of a mystery. Had a gay man been secretly murdered on HMAS Australia during the Second World War? The veteran he spoke to was certain. 'I knew about it,' he said. 'We all did.' But was the story true? If so, who was the dead man? And why was it so hard to find out? The Drowned Man is a search for the answer, almost stymied by cover-up and silence. In the end, it brings us to the lies that have shrouded our understanding of war, and especially of war at sea. As one of the survivors poignantly says, 'I want to pass it on to the next generation. What it was like. What it was really like.' This is a spellbinding story told by a powerful new Australian voice. Uncovers the possibility of a murder that has never before come to light. Offers a completely new perspective on Australian military history. Takes an unwavering look at the horrors of war, which act to contextualise the murders by way of the violent indifference of the time. Reveals a great deal not only about Australia in the 1940s, but also Australia today; hate crimes like these continue, alongside more general discrimination in the navy and elsewhere. For people who love Australian history, true crime and naval stories Captures the reality of war on board the HMAS Australia in World War II.