written a novel about the 1970 Crew murders, entitled Arthur Allan Thomas: The Inside Story.
Arthur Thomas was convicted for the murder of Harvey and Jeanette Crewe, but was pardoned in 1979 after evidence emerged that the police planted evidence to convict him. Numerous theories have continued to bubble away over the years about who really killed the couple. Some people think it was a murder-suicide, some still think Thomas was the murderer, while occasionally other names are thrown into the mix.
The reviews of Wishart's novel indicate he has deployed his great writing strengths, fantasy and science fiction, to masterful effect. In Wishart's book the murderer is Detective Sergeant Len Johnston, one of the two police officers blamed by a Royal Commission for planting a shell casing to implicate Thomas. The evidence pointing to Johnston is desperately thin. It appears to consist of Johnson having a reputation for being a "dirty cop" who (we are told) liked to start fires. Combine this with the (alleged) fact that a few years before the murder Johnston was at the Crewe house investigating a burglary, and that the Crewes apparently reported a couple of suspicious fires in 1968 and 1969.
A writer of serious books would probably find himself up against it if he tried to construct a murder case out of that random set of facts. But Wishart is not a writer solely of facts, being a master weaver of fact and fantasy. For those avid readers of his works who thrilled to imagine a world where evolution was a myth, and where a cabal of scientists planned a global warming conspiracy, this will be a must-read book.
The book is released tomorrow. Keep an eye out for it in the fantasy fiction sections of all good bookstores.