Haven: Harry Flynn's Final Odyssey by Philip Fitzpatrick. Independently published, 457 pages, paperback ISBN-13: 978-1693100352. Available here from Amazon, US$ $15.84
TUMBY BAY - For those poor souls who spend a significant amount of their lives working in one of the caring or service professions there often comes a point when they realise that no matter how noble their intentions what they are doing is ultimately futile in the face of the vested interests arranged against them.
When that moment arrives most people tend to ditch their ethical inclinations and carry on regardless, a wage is, after all, a wage and a prime necessity in modern life. Turning a blind eye becomes an economic imperative.
As inequality rapidly increases in the neo-conservative world and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer the phenomenon grows.
In Haven: Harry Flynn's Final Odyssey, a novel set in the near future, it has reached one of its logical conclusions.
The rich live in gated communities surrounded by razor wire. The police and the military have become their agents and work to control the unruly poor and dispossessed.
With no regard for the economic and ecological outcomes vast areas of the outback have become resource zones set aside for mining barons to pillage.
The pastoralists have been removed and the general public banned.
As a cowed and submissive populace struggles with the daily grind of food shortages, civil unrest and the brutal administration of the gifted few Harry Flynn decides that he has had enough.
Have you ever felt like just packing it all in and leaving? To hell with it; see you later alligator, I’m out of here.
That’s what Harry Flynn felt like; except Harry decided to blow up his politician boss and rob a couple of banks before he left.
In Harry’s world being a loser is an honourable profession.
Hampered by ragtag bands of feral outlaws and the motley remains of the army he ventures north into the desert seeking some kind of redemption.
In a world where the government is both morally and financially bankrupt, where society is on the point of anarchy and where mining barons rule supreme Harry’s chances are limited. Or are they?
Tired of voyaging, Ulysses put an oar over his shoulder and walked inland until he found people who didn’t know what he was carrying.
For Harry the thing on his shoulder is a great big chip and he doesn’t give a damn about whether people recognise it or not.
With his old LandRover and a reluctant paramour he heads into the banned resource zone looking for salvation and a safe haven.
The odds are stacked heavily against him but with the collection of misfits he harvests along the way there is a slim chance he might succeed.
Or that’s what he thinks.