Tag Archives: Little Piggy Stayed Home: Barlow

Perth and crime fiction: an imaginary garden with real toads


A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed Zero At the Bone, the latest book by Perth based crime writer, David Whish-Wilson. Zero At the Bone is a sequel to Whish-Wilson’s 2010 book, Line of Sight, which established him firmly in my mind as the president of the, albeit very small, club of Australian writers who do noir fiction and do it well.

This week, I’m thrilled to host David on Pulp Curry, with a wonderfully written and nuanced piece on the historical origins of Zero At the Bone and Line of Sight. It’s also a great insight into his home town of Perth, a place where, as he writes “the brighter the light, the deeper the shadow”.

Dave’s next book is Perth, part of the New South Books city series, out in December. 

David Whish-WilsonZero at the Bone had its genesis in a quote supplied by my brother, and it’s one I reference in the novel, by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, who plundered the Aztec Empire in the 16th Century. He said that “I and my men suffer from a disease of the heart that can only be cured by gold.”

This is a pretty honest assessment of the motivations behind Cortes’ journey to the New World, but the story of this maddening desire for gold, and the story of the city of Perth, where Zero at the Bone is set, are also closely linked.… Read more