IN the days before everyone had a mobile phone, former detective Frank Swann has an old-fashioned tapped landline problem to deal with.
And it is a problem that could mean trouble not only for himself, but for the premier of WA too.
Still disgraced from the police force, Frank returns for the third time in author David Whish-Wilson’s latest offering Old Scores.
Whish-Wilson said Old Scores followed his trend of setting books in WA’s politically tumultuous period of the 70s and 80s.
“My broad fictional project is to entertain readers while hopefully also capturing the kind of 1970s and 80s Perth culture and story and character that you don’t normally find in books,” he said.
“The backdrop to Old Scores is the WA Inc period of 1980s Perth, when our cowboy capitalists ended up running the show and emptying out the public coffers.
“We had two consecutive Premiers go to jail, and plenty more politicians and shonky businessmen might have. There was a Royal Commission which meant that the mask slipped, albeit briefly and the face behind wasn’t pretty and this is of course terrific material for a crime writer.”
Basing a good deal of his narrative on first-account stories of what life was like during that time, he said readers would see a different side to the Perth they were used to.
“I aim to write a gripping darker-edged crime story that will appeal to a broad readership but also reflect something specific about the city I call home,” he said.
“One of the strengths of crime fiction is that it foregrounds place and setting, both to create atmosphere and tone but also to explore what makes one place and its crime different from every other place.”
Sticking to the crime genre, Whish-Wilson said he was already well underway writing his next book, a tale of Australian ex-convicts involved in organised crime in 1840s San Francisco.
Visit www.fremantlepress.com.au for more information or to purchase the book.