In Stephen Johnson's Tugga's Mob, what happens on tour stays on tour. That was the mantra for the southern hemisphere backpackers who swarmed Europe in the 1980s. Foreign countries had to be explored and devoured in every way possible.
Waikato-born Judy Williams worked hard for her Big OE: London, Paris, Rome, Gallipoli; and her adventures were dutifully recorded in her diary.
A diary that also recorded how the obsessive Tugga Tancred and his Kiwi mates turned Judy’s trip of a lifetime into a nightmare of sly sexual harassment.
Their bad behaviour went unnoticed, or was ignored by fellow passengers like Australian Andrew Hackett who chose to party hard with Tugga’s Mob.
After all, they were in Europe for a good time, not a long time.
And what a time it was, until Tugga’s fixation ultimately led to murder; a crime that went unpunished for 30 years.
Praise for Tugga's Mob
"As I read I convinced myself that I knew what was coming,
but time and time again the story twisted and turned.
At about the halfway mark I was amazed to find a
chill run through my body"
— Trevor Carroll
"Stephen Johnson’s novel, Tugga’s Mob, is bringing the Ocean
Road to life again for me, and it’s giving me a vast amount
of pleasure to travel to places that were a part of my childhood…
I ordered Tugga’s Mob from Clandestine Press
and can thoroughly recommend it."
— Dorothy Johnston