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PNG detective story offers great insights into Australia’s neighbour

Fitz - Metau coverPHIL FITZPATRICK

The Unusual and Unexpected Case of the Rise and Rise of Inspector Hari Metau as told by his good friend Sergeant Kasari Aru, by Philip Fitzpatrick. Independently published, September 2019, 338 pages. ISBN-10: 1690061901. Available from Amazon. Paperback US$12.27. Kindle US$1. Or, especially for PNG Attitude readers, a free download here [note: the first page is blank]

TUMBY BAY - In the ancient Hiri Motu trading language of the Papuan coast the word metau means ‘difficult’.

Inspector Hari Metau isn’t so much difficult as he is stubborn and tenacious.

He is also disconcertingly honest and ethical.

When those sorts of qualities are combined in a policeman who works in a supposedly corrupt Pacific nation is it any wonder that certain people would regard him as difficult?

If you have followed some of his more notable cases, you might also be wondering how he turned out that way.

Inspector Metau would probably have difficulty answering that question but luckily we have his old mentor and good friend, Sergeant Kasari, to enlighten us.

Sergeant Kasari first met Inspector Metau when Metau was placed under his care as a newly minted probationary constable in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary.

Over the years they often found themselves working together. When Sergeant Kasari eventually retired, he continued to make his sage advice available to Metau whenever it was requested.

In this potted biography you can learn what made the whimsical Inspector Metau such an exceptional policeman, a loving husband, father and friend, and mentor to many of the troubled and unfortunate people who crossed his path.

If Sergeant Kasari’s memories and recollections spark your interest and you want to find out more about Inspector Metau you can follow his exploits in the following books:

Inspector Metau:The Case of the Angry Councillor

Inspector Metau: The Case of the Missing Professor

Inspector Metau: The Case of the Good Politician

And, as an added bonus, you might also learn a little bit about a fascinating nation that sits largely unnoticed on Australia’s doorstep.


Phil on patrol in the Star Mountains  early 1970s
Phil Fitzpatrick on patrol in the Star Mountains, early 1970s

What people say about Inspector Metau, and Phil Fitzpatrick …..

Scientist and writer Regina Dorum - "If I had not known that Phil is an Australian, I would have mistaken him for being a born and bred Papua New Guinean. It’s a description of real life Port Moresby, a real masterpiece" 

Author John Kadiba - "Phil has an intimate knowledge and understanding of PNG cultures and cultural practices. With his insights, he has adroitly and effectively crafted a PNG detective story which sets out to solve a maze of crimes and expose corruption in PNG at all levels. Phil has written a very absorbing and timely PNG detective story"

Journalist Keith Jackson AM - "A riveting detective story set in the context of the poverty, corruption, depravity and, yes, redemptive possibilities of contemporary Port Moresby and written with great insight into present day PNG and with wonderfully realistic portrayals of Melanesian identity, character and humour. A very good read from a very accomplished author"

Former PNG kiap Paul Oates - "An absolute bottler. Couldn't go to bed until I'd finished it. Recommend it to everyone"

Social commentator Pastor Robin Lillicrap - "I relished the latest book from the pen of the prolific Phil Fitzpatrick. This is a seminal volume capturing the realities of life and times in contemporary society; warts and all"

Former PNG school principal Barbara Short - "Phil's characters remind me of some of the Moresby identities who have graced  PNG Attitude  over the past    few years. Inspector Metau, his personality  and  his  vehicle, also have  similar characteristics to the great lady detective  in the famous series The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency. Truth in fiction!

Author Sil Bolkin- "I started  with  Inspector Metau and the Case of the Angry Councillor and didn't look back. I've finished today. You have done a beautiful job and you are   in the mix with Agatha Christie and the rest that write detective thrillers. You have written as if you are a native Motu or Magi, knowing the ins and outs of the land and seascapes. Tomorrow, I will check Inspector Metau and the Case of the Missing Professor. I want PNG high school students to read these  books but don't  know  if the education people have seen and read them. Continue to entertain us with your writing"

Author and commentator Francis Nii - "This is yet another masterpiece of the Inspector Metau series…an eloquent exposition of the unprincipled ethics and venality that are rooted in PNG politics through the wit and tact of the invincible Inspector Metau and his brigade of smart coppers with the aid of enigmatic entrepreneur Ruby and Inspector Flynn. Although fictitious, the stories portray what is actually happening in PNG and the vivid descriptions of the local cultures is intriguing, a feat only a few foreigners are capable of mastering. The stories are moral discourses entwined with suspense and drama and are highly enjoyable and educational for everyone"

Former police officer Douglas Ranmuthugala (RPNGC 1982-91) - "The  book  (Inspector  Metau:  The  Case  of  the  Good  Politician) was an excellent read. It paints a very accurate picture of life and corruption in PNG, and despite the near three decades of  leaving  that  country,  it  still  resonates  with me.  More strength to your elbow!" 


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