True West

Written by David Whish-Wilson

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 is driving 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.

A noir crime novel, True West is full of white-knuckle suspense perfect for readers who like thrilling, gritty fiction.

Praise for True West

‘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.’ Saturday Age

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

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

‘This dark, visceral narrative is a smorgasbord of political drama, action and suspense for readers who enjoy smart crime novels based on historical fact.’ @‌book.clubber_by_e.brodie

True West by David Whish-Wilson


  • Ned Kelly Award for Best Crime Fiction (Shortlisted 2020)