The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy


ISBN: 978-1-921924-42-2 Format: Trade paperback 230mm x153mm 336pp Rights: All rights: Transit Lounge Release / Publication Date: 01 /05 /2013


A novel of psychological precision, social and political observation and Hitchcock-like suspense.

London-based scientist Anthony Malloy has made a discovery that will hugely benefit global health. A pharmaceutical company is keen to market his invention of the single-use syringe, but its backing comes at a terrible price. What ensues entangles Anthony in a web of intrigue and blackmail that has unforeseeable and surprising consequences for him and the women in his life: his radical sister, his musically gifted daughter and his soon-to-be-ex-wife. His dilemma-fuelled and conscience-ridden journey takes him from London to Vietnam and Thailand and then on to Chicago and Bogota.

With characters that we care about, an original and daring premise, and an assured lightness of touch, this is taut, engaging fiction from the author of the critically acclaimed In Search of the Blue Tiger.

‘Robert Power has created a beautiful, richly imagined book. Gripping and compelling. A 21st century tale of risk, resolution and redemption.’
Charles Palmer, writer and film director. Credits include the BBC thriller ‘Death in Paradise’, as well as ‘Dr Who’, ‘Miss Marple’, ‘Poirot’, ‘Larkrise to Candleford’.

Robert Power is the author of In Search of the Blue Tiger, The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy and Meatloaf in Manhattan.

He has worked in HIV prevention for many years, travelling to all continents and appearing in all media, both here and abroad.

Born in Dublin, Robert now lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and his youngest son.


… a globe–trotting period thriller that takes in locales from London to Bogota. The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy is artfully paced and suspenseful. … the writing is energised by realistic detail: the psychology of the characters, the geopolitics and social mores (especially the penetrating insider’s view of the early AIDS industry) ground the novel and keep the pages turning.

Cameron Woodhead, The Age September 2014

The Swan Song of Doctor Malloy will appeal to those who’ve enjoyed John Le Carré’s The Constant Gardener and Mission Song and similar books that mix thriller politics with moral issues.

Tim Coronel, Bookseller + Publisher

Eminently readable. The author writes with great empathy about the highs and utter depths to which drink-fuelled sprees take Malloy and the subsequent shame and humiliation.

Jennifer Somerville, Good Reading Magazine, July 2013

Beautiful and tender moments … lasting imagery … really resonates with me.

Jon Faine, Conversation Hour,  ABC 774 16 May 2013

Sense of longing for place that is really very affective and affecting.

Michael Williams, Conversation Hour, ABC 774 16 May 2013

Power is an assured storyteller, and the novel is taut and compelling … Power’s insight  into addiction  is remarkable  and works brilliantly as the running thread of the  narrative .

Crusader Hillis, Australian Book Review September  2013

Here is protagonist Anthony Malloy amid the little known world of pharmaceutical research, dealing with the uses and abuses that spring from the very real ability to change lives that comes from specialised medical knowledge. Malloy is driven yet conflicted – as issues of contemporary drug use and preventative medical strategies are played out he develops as a flesh and blood, vulnerable, anxious man, with a failing marriage, a complex child and troubled siblings. Power takes us, and Malloy, from London to south-east Asia, the USA and South America – a kind of Lonely Planet journey through drug and disease hotspots, without the voyeurism.

This is another success not just for Power, but importantly too for small local publisher Transit Lounge, doing exceptional things with a very high quality list.

William Charles, The Melbourne Review September 2013