A chance encounter in a fish-’n’-chip shop set Brendan Murray on the trail of a mystery. Had a gay man been secretly murdered on HMAS Australia during the Second World War?
The veteran he spoke to was certain. ‘I knew about it,’ he said. ‘We all did.’
But was the story true? If so, who was the dead man? And why was it so hard to find out?
The Drowned Man is a search for the answer, almost stymied by cover-up and silence. In the end, it brings us to the lies that have shrouded our understanding of war, and especially of war at sea.