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Catch and Kill:
The politics of power


A gripping, revelatory account of the secrets, lies, and truths of Victorian politics – written from the inside.

Available. Dispatched 2-3 business days

In factional politics, there are two kinds of kills – the kind done for a meaningful purpose and the thrill kill. The attempt to unseat John Brumby as leader after only seven months in the job was purely a thrill kill: exhilarating and pointless.

Catch and Kill is a sweeping tour-de-force about political power, written from the inside. It looks at the secrets, lies and truths of four friends - Steve Bracks, John Brumby, John Thwaites, Rob Hulls - and what they did with power. How they beat the factions to get into parliament. How they won government. How they used the power of their state government to attempt to hijack Canberra’s domestic reform agenda from the Howard and Rudd governments. With a sleek seductive hand Joel Deane reveals the secret world of the mythmakers and the mongrels, the shellbacks and the sacrificial lambs. This is political noir at its stellar best - betrayals, allegations, parlays, and shanghais - steeped in the dark dirty language of the inner political sanctum.

Joel Deane
Photo by Meredith Squires

Joel Deane

Joel Deane is a poet, novelist, journalist, essayist, and speechwriter. He started out at 17 as a copyboy at the Sun News-Pictorial in Melbourne. Since then he has worked in San Francisco as a producer on the Emmy Award–winning MSNBC technology news show The Site, lectured widely on the use of public language, penned reviews and essays for Australian Book Review, and written speeches for Labor politicians such as Bill Shorten, Steve Bracks, and John Brumby. The Sydney Morning Herald described Deane’s most recent novel, The Norseman’s Song, as ‘a bold unfolding of a succession of nightmares [that] belongs to a long line of yarn-spinners … from Henry Lawson to Frank Hardy to Peter Carey’. His most recent collection of poetry, Magisterium, was a finalist for the Melbourne Prize for Literature. Catch and Kill marks his debut as an author of non-fiction.