I am a fast nonfiction writer, but a much slower writer of fiction. So, it has been a while between novels for me. In fact, since Gunshine State was first published in 2016, to be precise. But I have a new crime novel, Orphan Road, coming out via Down and Out Books in late May.
And here is the cover, designed by J. T. Lindroos.
While the story of Orphan Road had been bouncing around in my head for a while now, I finally managed to find the time to write it during Melbourne’s three Covid lockdowns. It is a short, sharp sequel to Orphan Road, featuring the same character from that novel, Gary Chance.
The pitch is as follows:
Gary Chance is an ex-Australian army driver and nightclub bouncer turned professional thief and
in need of a job. An offer comes from a former employer, once notorious Melbourne social
identity, now aging owner of a failing S&M club, Vera Leigh.
A shadowy real estate developer is trying to squeeze Leigh out of a rapidly gentrifying city. But she has a rescue plan that involves one of Australia’s biggest heists, Melbourne’s Great Bookie Robbery. On April 21, 1976, a well organised gang stole as much as three million dollars, a fortune at the time, from a Melbourne bookmakers club. The money was never recovered. No one was ever charged. And everyone associated with the crime has since died, either by natural causes or violently.
Leigh maintains that money was not the only thing stolen that day. So was a stash of uncut South African diamonds. And she wants Chance’s help to retrieve them. Problem is, they are not the only ones looking. The heist always goes wrong and the consequences, even half a century later, can be deadly.
And here is what some other talented crime writers have to say about the book:
“Orphan Road is a breakneck tale of robbery and vengeance, as lyrical and gritty as a Bad Seeds tune. Superb.” —Sam Wiebe, award-winning author of Sunset and Jericho and Invisible Dead
“Orphan Road hits Mr Inbetween levels of brilliance. Stylish writing and whip-smart dialog, this is noir done right.” —David Whish-Wilson, author of Line of Sight and The Sawdust House
“I have been waiting for another Gary Chance book. Orphan Road is grimy, twisty and fast. Absolutely worth the wait.” —Iain Ryan, author of Four Days and The Student
“A multi-continental heist romp, Nette’s Orphan Road is in direct lineage with Westlake/Stark’s Parker series and Thompson’s The Getaway. Filled with pulpy goodness, this crime caper scratches your thieving itch. For fans of Barry Gifford’s Black Lizard catalog, this one’s a guaranteed delight.” —Nolan Knight, author of The Neon Lights Are Veins and Gallows Dome
Stay tuned for more details about how you can pre-order Orphan Road. And, if it sounds like your kind of crime fiction but you haven’t checked out Gunshine State yet, why don’t you consider picking that book up. It is available from Down and Out Books in print and multiple digital formats here.