Terrorism sours the grapes

An eye for black comedy: Veteran journalist Bruce Cheeseman’s first book, Noble Rot, sets a terrorism plot in Margaret River. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d413806
An eye for black comedy: Veteran journalist Bruce Cheeseman’s first book, Noble Rot, sets a terrorism plot in Margaret River. Picture: Matt Jelonek www.communitypix.com.au d413806

The black comedy works its way through the South West with a global terror plot to infiltrate Margaret River’s wine growing region while it hosts a major economic summit.

Cheeseman said his time as a newspaper journalist heavily influenced his flat, punchy and sometimes satirical style.

‘Because it’s about a newspaper I can actually write in a very reportorial style. It’s very flat and deliberately suits my style as a journalist,’ Cheeseman said.

Noble Rot follows the Grace family’s wine and newspaper dynasty in the South West throughout Western Australia’s colourful colonial history, darting between historical moments and four continents.

Cheeseman’s experience in journalism and knowledge of media ownership and the influence that comes with it shine through the fast-paced novel that spans four continents.

‘It just so happened that Margaret River seemed a good location to put it because most of my stories throughout my life, I’ve tended to be the irreverent type. I could do politics and the rest but my specialty was doing these little offbeat stories,’ he said.

‘I’ve set the global war on terror in one of the most scenic places in Western Australia, an iconic wine growing area, deliberately as part of the irony.’

Captured and tortured in Abu Ghraib prison during the first Gulf War, Cheeseman’s long and chequered career saw him thrown out of Seoul in 1995 for anti-Government reporting while working on Fleet Street in England and eventually becoming the Australian Financial Review‘s bureau chief in Perth.

The 59-year-old said he had had a fascination with the war on terror since he began his career in journalism.

Noble Rot is available now from amazon.com for kindle.