George Stewart - The Leveller: The Story of a Violent Australian, 1979

A couple of months ago I finished reading a true crime account of a notorious Melbourne Painters & Dockers 'gunnie', Billy 'The Texan' Longley. It's written by Rochelle Jackson, who also wrote 'Inside Their Minds: Australian Criminals' , and which I also thoroughly recommend (both published by ABC books, or see

Rocks in the Belly - Jon Bauer, Scribe, 2010

Jon Bauer’s debut novel Rocks in the Belly has been widely acclaimed, and endorsed by the likes of JM Coetzee, David Malouf and MJ Hyland, and I can see why - it's a fascinating exploration of a child character whose selfishness and bloody-mindedeness precipitates what is essentially a terrible crime (although the child's culpability is limited. Or is it?

Ned Kelly Award nomination

Line of Sight has just been nominated for the best first crime novel category in the 2010 Ned Kelly Awards - details at the Ned Kelly's website -

New Reviews, interviews and events

Andrew Nette, crime writer and editor at Crime Factory has just posted an extensive 2-part interview with me at his Pulp Curry blog -

Tomorrow, Thurs 5 May I'm signing books at Borders Perth between 12-2, for Mother's Day. 

I'm also being interviewed this friday by Peter Waltham at Curtin FM Radio.

Beaufort Street Books - Literary Lounge

'Tis always a joy to discover a new bookshop. Beaufort Street Books, down there on...well, Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley, which has been opened not too long now, has for the past months been having writer and winemaking nights. With not many live events at Perth bookshops these days, and the industry struggling to compete with online providers, it was a real pleasure to be invited to speak on Wednesday night in what is the third literary event but part of a program designed to continue throughout the year.

The Mary Smokes Boys – Patrick Holland, Transit Lounge, 2010

Patrick Holland’s terrific second novel The Mary Smokes Boys begins with its main character, a ten year old Grey North watching fireworks flame up into the sky, the sights of children his own age enjoying rides at an exhibition fairground seen from his position at a hospital window, having just found out that his mother has died giving birth to his new sister, Irene.

Time's Long Ruin - Stephen Orr, Wakefield Press, 2010

Every city has one. A crime story that despite its enormity is never solved, where in the face of the lack of an answer people are forced to provide their own theories, legends, myths. The murder of Shirley Finn in Perth is one such story, the disappearance of Juanita Neilson in Sydney another.

Stephen Orr’s recent novel, Time's Long Ruin (Wakefield Press 2010) examines the improbable and troubling disappearance of three young children from a crowded Adelaide beach, in 1960 (linked very closely the disappearance of the three Beaumont children in Adelaide, in 1966.)

The Vintage and the Gleaning - Jeremy Chambers, Text, 2010

          The narrator of Jeremy Chamber’s fine debut novel The Vintage and the Gleaning, Smithy, has given up a lifetime of drinking as a result of his ruined guts (we suspect it might be terminal.) Once a ‘gun shearer’, a bloke who’s worked and played hard all his life, noted for his strength and work ethic, Smithy now labours in a vineyard somewhere in North-East Victoria.

Perth Writers Festival and other upcoming events

I'll be appearing at the following sessions/workshop at the Perth Writers Festival in a few weeks time, at the University of Western Australia:

Workshop: David Whish-Wilson - Crime writing

Every which way but up: multiple voices and crime story structure. With reference to television series such as The Wire, The Killing and Oz, and from fiction as varied as Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent to the novels of George Pelecanos, this workshop will focus on making crime fiction from the points-of-view of multiple characters.

Bereft - Chris Womersley - Scribe, 2010

When he is sixteen years old Quinn Walker’s beloved sister goes missing during a memorably fierce storm. Soon after, Quinn is discovered by his father and uncle, in a disused shed by the town weir, bloody knife in his hand, his sister raped and dead before them.

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