"Robert Drew has written a moving and unpretentious memoir of a precocious youth, a bittersweet tribute to youth's optimism."--Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books A "spiced and savory memoir" (The New York Times) of the dark life hidden in a sunny seaside Australian community. Written with the same lyrical intensity and spellbinding prose that has won Robert Drewe's fiction international acclaim, The Shark Net is set in a city haunted by the menace of an elusive serial killer. Drewe's middle class youth in the seaside suburbs of Perth, Australia--often described as the most isolated city in the world--takes a sinister turn when a social outcast (who turns out to be an employee of Drewe's father) embarks on a five-year murder spree. This unusual memoir brilliantly evokes the confluence of adolescent innocence and sexual awakening, while a killer who eventually murders eight people--including several of Drewe's friends--lurks in the shadows.
Robert Drewe was born in Melbourne on January 9, 1943, but from the age of six, when his father moved the family west to a better job in Perth, he grew up and was educated on the West Australian coast. The Swan River and Indian Ocean coast, where he learned to swim and surf, made an immediate and lasting impression on him. At Hale School he was captain of the school swimming team and editor of the school magazine, the 'Cygnet'. Swimming and publishing have remained interests all his life On his 18th birthday, already wishing to be a writer but unsure 'who was in charge of Writing', he joined 'The West Australian' as a cadet reporter. Three years later he was recruited by 'The Age' in Melbourne, and was made chief of that newspaper's Sydney bureau a year later, at 22. Sydney became home for him and his growing family, mostly in a small sandstone terrace in Euroka Street, North Sydney, where Henry Lawson had once lived. Robert Drewe became, variously, a well-known columnist, features editor, literary editor and special writer on 'The Australian' and the 'Bulletin'. During this time he travelled widely throughout Asia and North America, won two Walkley Awards for journalism and was awarded a Leader Grant travel scholarship by the United States Government. While still in his twenties, he turned from journalism to writing fiction. Beginning with 'The Sava