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Read this and be smarter: a new crime novel plumbs the history of one of Perth's political low points to show our nationalist past was not so long ago

True West is a new crime novel by David Whish-Wilson set in late 1980s Perth against the backdrop of hate crimes associated with Jack van Tongeren’s Australian Nationalist Movement that included the firebombing of Asian businesses, as well as the dog-whistle comments made by then federal Liberal opposition leader John Howard associated with ‘slowing down’ Asian immigration. In the novel Lee Southern has fled to Perth after he betrayed the Knights bikie gang in Geraldton. Lee works as a rogue truck driver but before too long he finds himself captured by neo-nazis and must do their bidding if he is to protect those last few things he holds dear.

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Adventures on the Cocos Islands: writer Norman Jorgensen on what life’s like for schoolchildren on a tropical archipelago

I think it is important for fictional characters to live in real places, which is why I have set my stories in locations I have visited. Often an interesting-looking town – or island, in this case – can be the spark that inspires the whole story. The Cocos Islands, approximately 2,750 kilometres north-west of Perth, is one of the settings for my latest adventure story, The Wreckers’ Revenge.

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