Tag Archives: Wyatt

Ghost Money available August 20

Just a quick post to let you know that my first novel Ghost Money will be released on August 20.

It’ll be available digitally through Amazon, B&N, Apple, Sony and Kobo.

Ghost Money is set in Cambodia in the mid-ninties, when the long-running Khmer Rouge insurgency was fragmenting and the country’s rival coalition parties were in conflict with each other from for dominance. Missing in the chaos is businessman Charles Avery. Hired to find him is Vietnamese Australian ex-cop Max Quinlan. Quinlan’s search will take him from Phnom Penh to the country’s border with Thailand and plunge him into a mystery that plunges him into the heart of Cambodia’s bloody past.

The book has got it’s first review, by none other than veteran Australian crime writer, Garry Disher. He was nice enough to blurb the book for me and said, “Ghost Money is a fast-paced, atmospheric crime novel. Its journey into a cynical and treacherous world is tense and suspenseful.”

I’m thrilled with the comments, coming as they do from someone with Disher’s statue in Australian crime writing.

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Crime fiction criminals

By definition, the majority of crime fiction characters are criminals or at least commit illegal and/or immoral acts. But books where the main character is a full-time professional criminal are surprisingly few and far between. Here’s a selection of some of the best.

It’s worth noting that when this post originally appeared on the Crime Fiction Lover website, readers came up with several good additions, including Andrew Vachss’s Burke, Charlie Huston’s Henry Thornton, Lawrence Block’s hitman character Keller and Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley. I had originally thought of including the James Ellroy character Dudley Smith (“Knock, knock, who’s there, Dudley Smith, so reds beware”), but he’s a bent cop so not eligible. However, Ellroy’s Pete Bondurant would definitely make the cut.

Please leave a comment if you can think of any others.

Parker by Richard Stark (aka Donald Westlake)

The 24 books written between 1962 and 2010 featuring the professional thief known as Parker remain some of the best crime fiction ever written. Sixteen Parker novels appeared between 1962 and 1974. Westlake took a rest from the character until 1997, then wrote another eight Parker books.

Parker is a career criminal who steals things for a living. Get in his way on a job or try to double cross him afterwards and he’ll hurt you.… Read more

Crime Factory Publications clocks on

Put the night of March 5 in your diaries, people. That’s the launch of Crime Factory Publications, a (very) small publishing company I’ve set up with my two colleagues and friends from Crime Factory magazine, Cameron Ashley and Liam Jose.

A couple of months ago on this blog I mentioned 2012 was going to be a big year for me. In addition to several short stories coming out around the place in the next couple of months, my novel will be out as an e-book around mid-year with Snubnose Press. On top of all this, I’ve now got my own slice of the publishing business (he says, tongue firmly in cheek).

The Crime Factory crew have been discussing taking our work to the next level for a while now. Several factors drove the decision to finally bite the bullet.

First and foremost, nine issues of Crime Factory magazine (of which I’ve been on board for the last four) have given us contacts and access to quality crime fiction from great writers. We don’t always make the most of this and push the great writing we get as much as possible. Starting our own outfit is one way to reverse this situation. We also wanted to raise the profile of the magazine here in Australia where, in comparison to the US, we’re pretty much unknown.… Read more

Interview: Garry Disher

Garry Disher is a veteran of the Australian crime-writing scene. He is the author a series of books featuring the professional hold-up man known as Wyatt. Disher wrote six Wyatt novels in the nineties and a seventh was recently released by Text and took out the top prize in the 2010 Ned Kelly awards. Disher has also authored a number of books featuring Hal Challis and Ellen Destry, two police working on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular, about an hour’s drive southeast of Melbourne, where Disher also lives. I talked to him for the issue 5 of Crime Factory about the difference between writing hard-boiled characters and police procedurals, why after over a ten-year break he decided to write another Wyatt book and the state of crime fiction in Australia.

It’s been over 10 years since the last Wyatt book, Fallout in 1997. Why the break and what inspired you to give Wyatt another outing after such a long time?

The break was to try and get established with the new series of police procedurals, the Challis and Destry books, which for me was a completely different way of looking at plot and structure. I wanted a break from Wyatt because there was basically one book a year and I thought I might get stale on them.… Read more

Is Philip Marlowe spinning in his grave?

It’s official.

Yesterday my crime novel, Cambodia Darkness and Light, was short listed in the category of best unpublished manuscript by an emerging writer in the 2010 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.

The judges said the following about Cambodia Darkness and Light:

Ex-cop Max Quinlan is working his third missing person’s case, and he’s already out of his depth … He’s in Cambodia, on the trail of disappeared Melbourne gem-trader Charles Avery, hired by his deep-pocketed sister. Avery is the kind of man ‘everyone had met’ but ‘no one knew’ – and he’s deeply enmeshed with the Khmer Rouge. This is a fast-paced, richly atmospheric spin on the Chandler-esque disillusioned gumshoe, keenly informed by the turbulent politics and history of Cambodia.

It’s not everyday you get your work compared to one of the masters of crime fiction, Raymond Chandler. Hopefully, he’s not spinning in his grave too much at the suggestion that my Vietnamese Australian ex-cop turned missing person’s investigator has anything in common with Philip Marlowe.

Best of luck to the other two shortlisted writers in the unpublished manuscript category. Peter Temple’s crime novel Truth is among the books shortlisted for the Vance Palmer fiction prize. Hopefully, its inclusion will continue to push crime fiction, particularly, Australian crime fiction, further into the literary mainstream in this country. … Read more