Nov. 11, 2022

Target 91

Kerry Cue--humorist, mathematician, journalist, and author--grew up around guns in Australia. “I grew up in a police station in rural Australia where the police phone and radio sat on our kitchen bench and my father’s Lithgow .22 rifle rested against the fridge. There were five kids, a dog, a cat, ferrets, a budgie, chickens, a sheep, and total chaos. At ten years of age I’d have a tray shoved in my hand by my mother and told to ‘go feed the prisoner.’ I had to pour the prisoner’s tea from a pot through the bars.” With these influences, Kerry wrote three books about her hilarious childhood.

She also wrote Target 91, a darkly-humorous satire that zeroes in on America's gun culture.

I've been featuring a new Penmore Press author or two every month in my blog, and Cue, a writer and humorist with the heart of a philosopher, is this month's spotlight. Target 91, a work of fiction, offers a riveting story and a perspective on America and its unique gun culture from someone outside the Yankee bubble.

"The absolute lunacy of American Gun Laws, which vary across states and even conflict within states, is a horror show," she wrote in her bio, a sobering assessment from someone who grew up with guns and has enjoyed gun sports--albeit within Australia's more moderate gun culture.

A bestselling Australian author of 20 humorous and educational books, Cue recently told me, "We moved to a small town in rural Australia when I was ten years old. Guns were a part of living on a police station. There was nothing much to do in our small town on a Friday night so I went spotlight shooting standing in the back of a ute (pickup truck)." They shot rabbits, emus, and even kangaroos all those years ago on her Uncle’s farm in Northern Victoria. "This was not for sport but for dog food," she stated. "I couldn’t stomach it now." Her brother, who was in the Emergency Response Unit, was trained to use assault rifles, did training exercises with the army, and competed in the World Police and Fire Games in pistol shooting. "He totally supports Australia’s gun laws," said Cue, noting how much stricter they are than America's. "He doesn’t want idiots or criminals shooting back at him!"

According to Cue, Australia managed, after the mass shooting at Port Arthur in 1996 that left 35 dead, to ban a great range of high-powered and automatic rifles and handguns. This was combined with a buy-back program. "This has proven to be effective."

After the U.S. ended its Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, and as the NRA has broadened its interpretation of the Second Amendment, the toxic gun culture in America inspired Cue to write Target 91, set in the United States. A summary is below:

One body, then another and another, turn up in different states, each one skewered by an AK-47 with a small US flag attached to the rifle butt and the words BAN THIS WEAPON printed on the back. When young, tweeting, texting, blogging journalist Kitchi Le labels the killers the Anti-Gun Brigade (AGB), they start communicating their threats through her. But who are the victims? And why were they targeted? The National Gun and Shooters Association (NGSA) CEO, Gig DeKant goes ballistic claiming ‘the depraved, godless, tree-hugging, vegetarian fringe of the loony Left don’t want ordinary Americans to be armed.’ When the AGB name DeKant as a target he calls on his brothers-in-arms to gun down ‘those loony lefties’. This sparks a politically-charged media frenzy and triggers a race to stop the AGB. Suddenly the lives of Quincey Washington Booker (Organized Crime NY FBI), Denney O’Shea (Undercover FBI), DeKant and Kitchi Le become dangerously entwined. The pace is runaway train-fast. The humor puts the idiotic side of US Gun Culture in the crosshairs. While the up-against-the-wall sex is worth the price of the book. The many twists and turns in the plot will keep you furiously reading until the last page. The morals and ethics of both sides of the gun debate are tested in this satirical suspense novel. All small details are based on facts: typical gun lobby rants, the 2008 Heller judgment that put handguns back on the street in the US, cost of an AK-47, open carry laws, the holed-up militias, cost of ammo and gun chat room rants.

If you're ready to give Target 91 a try, check out Cue's Amazon link HERE.

If you'd like to learn more about Kerry Cue, click to go to her author WEBSITE.

And if you want to sample more of Penmore Press's amazing team of authors, click PENMORE.