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George and Clare, the Malachite and the Diamonds: Play With Knives Book Five

This last novel in Jennifer Maiden’s ‘Play With Knives’ quintet, George and Clare, the Malachite and the Diamonds experiments across poetry, prose, style, person, action and self—as part of the series and a stunning stand-alone work.

Clare was a central character in what the Oxford Companion calls Maiden’s ‘impressive’ first ‘Play With Knives’ novel (1990). Set in Sydney’s Western Suburbs, it centres on Clare and George’s survival as Clare is released from imprisonment after committing fratricide as a child. The Quintet outlines their growth.

In Mount Druitt, Clare and George, now human rights observers, are implored by a friend to rescue her daughter, Quentin—a young arms-dealer taken to Russia by her husband, Schmidt, a sinister telecommunications figure dealing in quantum diamonds that are prized by national forces. Quentin herself is prized by Australian government and others, for her contacts and skill in arms-selling.

In Russian winter light or light of a Mount Druitt mall at midnight, this work creates platforms where aspects of reality or experience integrate, moving between sense of self and overview, action and ability to transcend it.

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