After The Flood
After the Flood is the latest book in award-winning WA crime writer David Warner’s series about Dan Clement, now Detective Inspector, as he oversees police operations in the remote WA town of Broome and its vast outback surrounds.
While Clement knows from long professional experience that there’s always a dark undercurrent to daily life, he’s getting bored with run-of-the-mill crime, failed forays into romance and the growing pains of his colleagues’ kids.
Then a horrifying murder is discovered on a remote cattle station – one that puts Clement’s long list of previous grisly investigations in the shade. A man has been found crucified on a remote stretch of road, an act so brutal and shocking that the usual suspects barely factor.
Suddenly, the routine crimes Clement has recently been looking into – the theft of explosives from a mine, protestors picketing an abattoir, a clinic break-in with potential ties to anti-vaxxers – become threads that start twisting into a fast-burning fuse and what threatens to be an explosive finish.
About the author
Dave Warner is an author, musician and screenwriter. His first novel, City of Light, won the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award for Fiction, and Before it Breaks (2015) the Ned Kelly Award for best Australian crime fiction. His novel Clear to the Horizon features the lead characters from both those books. His most recent crime novels are River of Salt and Over My Dead Body. Dave Warner first came to national prominence with his gold album Mug’s Game, and his band Dave Warner’s from the Suburbs. In 2017 he released his 10th album, When. He has been named a Western Australian State Living Treasure and has been inducted into the WAMi Rock’n’Roll of Renown.
Questions for discussion
- After The Flood starts with a flood at a mine site. How does this incident affect the antagonist’s moral compass?
- DI Dan Clement is a veteran investigator. What drives him to seek the truth, seemingly no matter the cost?
- What role does the landscape play in After the Flood, particularly the remote outback, where space to hide in – and get lost in – is so readily available?
- Warner uses DI Clement as the protagonist but supports his adventure with a well-rounded cast of supporting characters. What effect does this ensemble-like approach have on the story?
- DI Clement is a recurring character for Warner. If you have read previous stories with this character (City of Light, Before it Breaks etc), how has Clement evolved – or even regressed?
- Warner’s language is a mix of vernacular, police procedural, poetic lyricism and wry humour. How did this help shape the story and its impact on you as a reader?
- The central crime of the crucified man is confronting. What effect did this crime have on you, and what tone did it set for Clement’s investigation, and subsequent confrontation, with the forces behind it?
- For such a large place, the outback is also small, in the sense that people tend to know each other, and the usual tracks are well-worn. How does Warner use this to the story’s advantage, balancing intimidating vastness with suffocating locality?
- After the Flood begins with a flood, then settles into a police procedural, then quickens to a thriller. Did you enjoy the ride? The changes in pace throughout?
If you liked this book, you may also like…
City of Light by David Warner (Fremantle Press)
Before it Breaks by David Warner (Fremantle Press)
Clear to the Horizon by David Warner (Fremantle Press)
The River Mouth by Karen Herbert (Fremantle Press)
How to Shame the Devil by Ros Thomas (Night Parrot Press)
Crocodile Tears by Alan Carter (Fremantle Press)
Fromage by Sally Scott (Fremantle Press)
Private Prosecution by Lisa Ellery (Fremantle Press)
Shore Leave by David Whish-Wilson (Fremantle Press)