Tag Archives: Western Australian crime fiction

Book review: Old Scores

old-scoresOld Scores is the third book by Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson featuring Frank Swann, former petty criminal, disgraced cop and low rent private investigator.

The first, Line of Sight (2010), was set in 1975, six months after the murder of a Perth brothel madam, shot four times in the back of the head with a .22 the day before she was scheduled to give evidence to the tax office implicating senior police and certain high profile ‘secret investors’ in her operation. Convinced the same cops responsible for the murder are the ones investigating it, Swann turns whistle blower for the Royal Commission called to investigate the murder and matters relating to it.

Zero at the Bone (2013) took place in 1979 and saw Swann engaged in a parlous living as a PI. A bikie wants his stolen Harley found, an old cop buddy wants help to track down some shop lifted jewels, and an attractive widow by the name of Jennifer Henderson wants to know why her geologist husband decided to blow his brains out. No one will touch case except Swann and it soon becomes apparent why.

Old Scores shifts the story to the eighties and the beginnings of the cowboy capitalism that marked Western Australia in that decade.… Read more

Crime writers find fertile ground in the red dirt of Western Australia

ZeroWhen Dave Warner’s City of Light appeared in 1995, Western Australia’s crime writing scene resembled one of the late night streets of seventies Perth described so vividly in his book: totally devoid of life.

City of Light, which jointly won the 1996 WA Premier’s prize for fiction, focused on a rookie police constable, Snowy Lane, swept up in an investigation into the murders of several young women by a serial killer dubbed ‘Mr Gruesome’. The case entangles Lane in a web of financial and political corruption spanning the seventies to late eighties.

“As far as I knew at the time, there were no other contemporary crime novelists setting work in WA and nothing had been set there since Arthur Upfield,” recalls Warner.

You can read the rest of this piece here on the Guardian Australia’s Australian Culture Blog.