A female detective discovers the dark side of the world of contemporary literature in this unusual thriller from Australia. Mickey (Abbie Cornish) is a brash young female poet who is gaining a potent reputation for her powerful verse about love and sex. When she suddenly disappears, private detective Jill Fitzpatrick (Susie Porter) is hired to help find her. Jill doesn't know much about poetry, so she starts her investigation by tracking down Mickey's teacher and mentor, Diana (Kelly McGillis), to learn more about Mickey and the circles in which she traveled. Jill is a lesbian, and quickly finds herself strongly attracted to Diana; though Diana is married to Nick (Marton Csokas), she finds herself equally infatuated with Jill, and the two are soon having an affair. When Mickey is found murdered, her parents ask Jill to step up the investigation, and Jill digs deeper into the facts of Mickey's life -- learning the young woman was willing to sleep with nearly anyone who could advance her career. She also discovers that the two older male poets with whom Mickey had become involved are not at all eager to answer questions about her disappearance. The Monkey's Mask is based on a mystery novel written in verse form by Dorothy Porter; the novel became an international bestseller and the biggest-selling book of poetry published in Australia since World War II .
by Mark Deming synopsis