Category Archives: David Whish-Wilson

Cover reveal: Gunshine State

Gunshine StateI’m thrilled to be able to show you the cover for my second novel, Gunshine State, out this September from the wonderful folks at 280 Steps.

Gunshine State is a heist thriller set in Melbourne, Queensland and Thailand. Think Richard Stark’s Parker, Garry Disher’s Wyatt, and Wallace Stroby’s Crissa Stone. Add a touch of Surfers Paradise sleaze and a very dangerous stopover in Asia.

Here’s the elevator pitch:

Gary Chance is a former Australian army driver, ex-bouncer and thief. His latest job sees him in Queensland working for Dennis Curry, an aging Surfers Paradise standover man. Curry runs off-site, non-casino poker games, and wants to rob one of his best customers, a high roller called Frederick ‘Freddie’ Gao.

While the job may seem straightforward, Curry’s crew is anything but. Frank Dormer is a secretive former Australian soldier turned private security contractor. Sophia Lekakis is a highly-strung receptionist at the hotel where Gao stays when he visits Surfers. Amber is Curry’s attractive female housemate and part of the lure for Gao. Chance knows he can’t trust anyone, but nothing prepares him for what unfolds when Curry’s plan goes wrong.

The novel has already had some good advance praise from authors I admire with, I hope more to come:

“A tense, fast-moving, vividly-drawn thriller.”
Garry Disher, author of the Wyatt novels

“A lean, mean, hard-boiled knockout.”
David Whish Wilson, author of Line of Sight and Zero at the Bone

Needless to say, I’ll be talking more about Gunshine State in the lead-up to its release.… Read more

A new anthology of short Oz crime fiction & a course for aspiring crime authors

Just wanted to pull on your collective coats with some writing related news. 2016 is going to be a big year for me, writing wise, with a non-fiction book, a novel and stories in a two anthologies all out in the next 12 months.

My first writing scalp for 2016 is the book above, an upcoming anthology of Australian short crime fiction, soon to be published by Sydney based Spineless Wonders. I’m thrilled to have a story in this collection, ‘Postcard From, Cambodia’. I even get my name on the cover along with heavy hitters such as David Whish-Wilson, Leigh Redhead, Carmel Bird, Peter Corris, PM Newton and my partner, Angela savage. It is edited by Zane Lovett, whose debut crime novel, The Midnight Promise won best first crime at the 2014 Ned kelly awards.

Seriously, anthologies of Australian crime fiction are a rare thing, which makes this anthology something of a special event. The book is currently available for pre-order at a reduced price, so get onto it. Ordering information and other details are available here.

My second piece of news is about a course for new and emerging crime writers I’m giving for Writers Victoria on Sunday February 28 and March 6. Over the two days we’ll cover topics such the key conventions of crime fiction, the basics of plotting and structure, how to pace and build suspense, the importance of setting, strategies for completing your manuscript and pitching your book to publishers.… Read more

Hit-and-run books & ‘literary’ works: true crime, from Garner to Chopper Read

1920s-gangster-hit

In her latest book, This House of Grief, Helen Garner examines the case of Robert Farquharson, who on Father’s Day 2005 drove his car into a dam off the Princes Highway near Geelong, drowning his three young sons. It is among a number of recent works that demonstrate how true crime writing has changed over the last few years.

Others are Anne Krien’s Night Games: Sex Power and Sport, which won the 2014 Sisters in Crime Davitt award for best true crime book, and Robin De Crespigny’s The People Smuggler, ostensibly a non fiction story about the experience of an Iraqi asylum seeker, which took the 2013 Ned Kelly crime writing award for best non-fiction. Matthew Condon’s Jacks and Jokers is another example. The second instalment of a trilogy about police corruption in Queensland from the sixties to the Fitzgerald Inquiry in 1987, it has the feel of an ambitious alternative social history rather than a piece of true crime writing.

“In terms of definition,” says veteran true crime writer Lindsay Simpson, “true crime is a literary rendition of a particular crime which pays homage to veracity by researching the crime across multiple sources including interviews and primary source documents while at the same time engaging the reader through its narrative.”

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (1966), his investigation into the 1959 murder of a Kansas farmer Herbert Clutter, his wife and two of their four children, is often credited with pioneering the more literary end of the true crime genre.… Read more

My year in books

InfamyWill I ever come to the end of a year without the feeling I haven’t read nearly as much as I should have?

Unlike other years I’ve at least got a clear list in terms of my top five reads for 2013.

Here they are.

Infamy, Lenny Bartulin

Infamy is set in 1830s Tasmania. British mercenary William Burr is hired by the colonial government of Van Diemen’s Land to track down an escaped convict, Brown George Coyne. While Burr may be the hero of the novel, if one exists, Coyne and his Indigenous ‘wife’, Black Betty, steal the story. Coyne is a terrifying creation, a former convict, psychopath and cannibal, also a revolutionary working to unite a motley crew of escaped convicts with what’s left of the island’s Indigenous population, to overthrow the colonial government and rule as a self styled king of Van Diemen’s Land. 

Infamy is a superbly rendered piece of historical fiction, a dark, almost noir crime story, and a unique and unashamedly Australian take on the western. Possibly my best read of 2013.

Generation Loss, Elizabeth Hand

Cass Neary made her name in the seventies as a photographer of what was then the burgeoning New York punk movement. Thirty years later she’s a washed up, semi-alcoholic mess, when out of the blue, an old acquaintance gives her an assignment to track down a famous and reclusive photographer living on a remote island of the coast of Maine.… Read more

My year in books: David Whish-Wilson

ZeroThe next guest in the ‘my year in books’ series is Perth-based crime writer David Whish-Wilson.

David’s Zero At the Bone (the sequel to his 2010 book, Line of Sight) was one of my favourite crime reads of 2013. I reviewed the book on this site a couple of months ago.

Also hot off the presses and getting rave reviews is David’s book about his home town, Perthpart of the New South Books city series. You can find the book here.

Dave’s got some interesting choices. The first of the Laidlaw series is on my radar to try soon.

Welcome David.

My top 5 books of this Year, in no particular order are:

The Dying Beach, Angela Savage

I’ve spent most of the year working on a non-fiction book, and my reading has been pretty much limited to municipal histories and the like. One thing I notice about this year’s favourite novels, unlike in previous years, is that 4 of the 5 are Australian, and three of the four are West Australian, which I think is terrific. One of the greatest joys this year was reading Angela Savage’s latest crime novel, The Dying Beach. From the first pages I was there with Jayne Keeney and her idiosyncratic but always fully-realised side-kick, Rajiv.… Read more