A flood of ideas

Dave Warner. Photo by Bleddyn Butcher.

DAVE WARNER’S latest novel is a return to Broome-based Detective Dan Clement, who’s left with the ultimate dilemma – choosing between being there for his daughter or being blown up. After the Flood eleventh crime novel and the third to featuring Clement and his team. 

“A series of minor crimes like the break in at a childhood health clinic have Dan brooding that he is wasting his time,” Warner said.

“He wishes for a bigger crime to solve and soon gets one when the naked body of a man is found nailed to an isolated road. 

“As Dan realises the seemingly minor crimes may hold the key to stopping a major disaster it becomes a race against time played out across the Kimberley and Pilbara, with Dan himself in real peril.”

Warner said he had the rough idea for the book around 2018, started writing mid-2019 and was just through the first draft by January 2020.

“It wasn’t till I was well into the book that I realised that a consistent theme in After the Flood was grief and personal loss of loved ones,” he said.

“That can take many forms: death, estrangement, separation by distance.”

Corporate responsibility was another major theme Warner weaves into the book.

“The themes really evolved as I wrote; I didn’t set out with them but if people are taking desperate and violent action, I had to ask why?

“And especially why might an “And especially why might an ordinary person be going to such extremes.”

Warner’s also published three children’s novels, a volume 

of short stories, a couple of biographies (including Fremantle Dockers player Marlion Pickett), three sporting Hall of Shame books, and three rock music books. Prolific as that is, Warner says he’s already got a couple of novels that are finished but unpublished. 

Warner spent his early life in and around Fremantle. 

“My first year I was raised in a flat in High Street down the road from the family butcher shop started by my grandfather. 

“Warner’s Butchers lasted more than 50 years. 

“My grandparents lived in the McIlwraith’s building opposite the then His Majesty’s Hotel. 

“I spent many a night in their flat; I remember waking to the clip-clop of Miller’s bakery horse to the old horse trough.”

His grandparents were his rock while he grew up.  

“My grandmother was a book-keeper and barmaid at Fremantle hotels, mostly the Newcastle, and counted the likes of Jack Sheedy as customers and mates. 

“My grandfather was a crane driver on the wharf and my mum was a Woolworth’s shopgirl who did service at the Woodman’s Point naval munitions hub during the war. 

“One of the first songs I wrote, Vignettes, was about growing up in Freo. Any interested readers, check it out.”

Warner’s already well on his way with his next novel. 

“I am so excited by the next novel Summer of Blood.

“It brings back my main detective characters from my second book Big Bad Blood but places them in California in the ‘Summer of Love’ 1967, in the middle of an evolving mystery.

“I loved writing the manuscript and now it’s exciting as the editing process proceeds. Fremantle Press will publish late next year.”

Dave Warner will be at New Edition, Fremantle to launch After the Flood on Thursday September 15 from 6–7pm. He then heads out on tour, but will be back at the City of Cockburn’s Success Library on Thursday September 22 from 6–7.30pm.

More information: https://fremantlepress.com.au/books/after-the-flood/

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