Publisher: Fremantle Press
Published: July 2018
Fans of David Whish-Wilson’s trilogy of crime novels featuring Frank Swann will recognise his superb storytelling style and elegant prose in this gripping new work of historical fiction that binds the Swan River colony to gold rush era California. San Francisco in 1850 is a frontier town – lawless, corrupt, full of competing gangs, ramshackle buildings, and gold fever. The rough-and-tumble life is vividly portrayed in the quarter called Sydney Cove, which is full of Australians. Into this milieu steps Sam Bellamy, a twelve-year-old in search of his prostitute mother. Keeping a lookout for this wily but sensitive (and vulnerable) boy in this threatening environment are two nefarious members of the Sydney Coves gang, Keane and Clement. Throughout the narrative, connections are established between life in the New World and Sam’s earlier life at the Swan River. This lively, engaging novel, which is based on historical events and characters, will appeal to a wide range of readers and offers many talking points for book clubs.