In the early hours of Thursday 19 March 2020, the luxury cruise liner Ruby Princess docked at Sydney's Circular Quay, the gateway to Australia.
Hours later, 2700 passengers disembarked. Yet in the middle of a pandemic sweeping the planet, there were no health checks. Over the next few days, the passengers got some bad news. The COVID-19 virus had infected some on the ship, and it spread rapidly. Eventually over 900 passengers and crew would be diagnosed, and 28 would die from the disease.
Months of investigation and a Special Commission uncovered a series of catastrophic mistakes, from negligence to the corporate greed of an industry with a history of only caring for its bottom line. This 'super-spreader incident' was a viral bomb that exploded in the heart of Australia's biggest city - and a disaster that could and should have been prevented.
In his page-turning book, investigative journalist Duncan McNab explores the causes of the spectacular quarantine failure, the cruise industry, the lives of the victims and their families, and the turbulent politics of blame.
Duncan McNab is an award-winning and bestselling investigative journalist, television producer and author of 11 books sold in Australia, UK and North America, including the bestselling Dead Man Running, Roger Rogerson and the 2017 Ned Kelly Award winner Getting Away With Murder. He specialises in long-form true crime and current affairs.
He was the supervising producer of the 7 Network's blockbuster true crime series Murder Uncovered (winner of the 2017 Kennedy Award and Clarion Award for best long-form documentary) and the 9 Network's Murder Lies and Alibis. Duncan is also the Crime Editor for 7News.com.au. He lives in Sydney.