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Mike, along with Sidney and the formidable Sarah, work for PrimeLine, an Australian tabloid television programme. The team have pretty well sewn up the 'Jelly Game', that dubious area of journalism relying on Elvis, aliens and sex scandals. Naturally they are scorned by their less creative colleagues.
This novel of 70,000 excellently connected words started out as an indictment of ecological deliquency and fisheries abuse. Fortunately I have been able to cunningly bury the boring facts inside a vigorous plot, and I now describe it as a thriller laced with both humour and insight into the more nefarious documentary filming practices.
A new Japanese sponsor insists that they cover an important Antarctic ecology conference in New Zealand. They're determined to make the most of this rare opportunity to show their true documentary making skills. Unfortunately in all is not as it seems; there is a hidden agenda somewhere: the mysterious Japanese trade mission; American interference; terrorism; a rival media crew. They latch onto an ecological watchdog organisation, SPASO, strong rivals to Greenpeace, and by dint of luck and natural cunning, cobble together a satisfactory documentary.
But that's not good enough. They want to go the extra mile, they want to find the secret location, the hidden agenda, the basic dirt. It calls for subterfuge, deviousness and a brave foray into the lion's den.
The action culminates at a political summit meeting in Whangaroa harbour, where the famous 'Boyd' incident occurred long ago. Echoes of murder and arson still redound. The PrimeLine crew belatedly realise that they have been out-manipulated by pretty well everybody, but of course refuse to accept defeat.