Jack Van Duyn is stuck in his comfort zone. A pot-bellied, round-shouldered cabbie in his mid-fifties, Jack lives alone, has few friends, and gets very little out of life. He has a negative opinion of most other people — especially refugees, bankers, politicians, and welfare bludgers.
Jack doesn’t know it, but his life is about to be turned upside down. A minor altercation in a kids’ playground at an inner-city high-rise estate catapults Jack into a whirlpool of drug-dealing, ASIO intrigue, international piracy, and criminal violence. And he can’t escape, because he doesn’t want to: he’s fallen in love with the beautiful Somali single mum who’s at the centre of it all.
The ensuing turmoil propels Jack out of his comfort zone, forcing him to confront some unpleasant truths about himself. After decades in the doldrums, can he rise to the challenge when the heat’s on?
Drawing on his many years of experience as a politician at the centre of bitter debates about refugees and multiculturalism, Lindsay Tanner explores the emotional landscape on which these issues are played out. As we follow Jack’s hair-raising journey from crisis to crisis, a powerful plea for tolerance and understanding unfolds — directed at both sides of Australia’s great cultural divide.
“Comfort Zone is, in many respects, a love letter to the inner-city electorate that Tanner represented…held together and sustained by a wonderful warmth and a lightness of touch.”
—Michael McGirr, Sydney Morning Herald
“A decent man is pitched into a dangerous world where his strengths are tested and his weaknesses exposed.”
—Robert Gott, author of The Port Fairy Murders
“The story is an entertaining one…Behind the plot is evidence of a keen moral intelligence…Tanner shows a keen sense of life’s variety and the luck that attends to it.”
—Ed Wright, Weekend Australian