A history lesson in an Australian crime novel?
In the novel’s early pages, he also pushes a murder investigation in a potentially explosive direction:
“People started to gather their papers but something irked me about the groups we’d been briefed on. Most of their members were, inevitably, unskilled, uneducated males – blokes in the edge of society. There wasn't a single group of coppers or ex-servicemen. There were no equivalents of General Blamey’s White Knights of the 1920s, Eric Campbell’s New Guard of the 1930s or Ted Serong’s more recent Aussie Freedom Scouts. ...I don’t know those groups, even whether they are real of fictional, but I suspect that the passage has introduced me to a phenomenon in Australian history with which some in the country might be uncomfortable.
"`The groups listed here don't include the better organized ones – those made up of police and soldiers. Are you saying they no longer exist?'"
"Miller looked at Best."
So, a twofold question to readers this time: What role did these groups play in Australian history? What other crime fiction sheds light in a country’s recent or contemporary history?
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Australian crime fiction