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True West

Written by David Whish-Wilson


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Western Australia, 1988. After betraying the Knights bikie gang, 17-year-old Lee Southern flees to the city with nothing left to lose. 

Working as a rogue tow truck driver in Perth, he is captured by right-wing extremists whose combination of seduction and blackmail keeps him on the wrong side of the law and under their control.

As the true nature of what drives his captors unfolds, Lee becomes an unwilling participant in a breathtakingly ambitious plot – and a cold-blooded crime that will show just how much he, and everyone else, still has to lose.


'But for all of Whish-Wilson's skill with impactful action and white-knuckle suspense, True West ultimately reveals itself as a complex morality tale about the tenacious spread of prejudice.' Books + Publishing

'Whish-Wilson’s Western Australia is alive, its heart beating, its outback a swirl of dust and history, roads like scars, the scent of its plants as strong as the ocean’s salty brine. Lee is a hell of a character ... This is compelling, thrilling, and still feels like it could be played out today in the white nationalist fringes of Australian politics.' Readings

'[David Whish-Wilson's] story of a hardened boy with a good heart facing violence and danger at every turn is among other things a clear-eyed look at the genesis and the effects of toxic masculinity at its most extreme.' The Saturday Age

'True West is an intelligent and gutsy historical crime novel, and a thoroughly addictive read.' The Weekend West

'David Whish-Wilson’s True West is quality fiction made from materials that in other hands would remain pulp sensationalism.' Weekend Australian

ISBN 9781925815702 (Paperback)
Formats C Format (234 x 153mm) (Paperback)
Categories Fiction
Book Club Reads
Crime & Mystery
Great Big Book Read Books
New Releases
Father's Day 2020
Publisher Fremantle Press
Edition 1st
Publication Year 2019
Pages 264
  • David whish wilson website

    David Whish-Wilson

    David Whish-Wilson was born in Newcastle, NSW, but grew up in Singapore, Victoria and WA. He left Australia aged eighteen to live for a decade in Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the author of The Summons, The Coves and three crime novels in the Frank Swann series: Line of Sight, Zero at the Bone and Old Scores. His non-fiction book, Perth, part of the NewSouth Books city series, was shortlisted for a WA Premier’s Book Award. David lives in Fremantle and coordinates the creative writing program at Curtin University. Read more