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Winter Traffic

Sutton doesn’t like the three a.m. phone calls. He should change his number—that way Rawson wouldn’t have it. Sutton’s best mate is a hero cop, but strife flows through him like a highway.

He was supposed to die young. Maybe Millar will do it for him: she’s the hot young detective from Internal who still thinks intellect and integrity will take her places. If she doesn’t watch her step, she might find out what they are…

This is the story of good dogs living in a bad-news town—a fragrant harbour city where the judges are dead, the vendettas lively and every glittering fortune hides a sin.

An epic novel of corruption, murder and the true nature of justice, Winter Traffic announces the arrival of a compelling new voice in literary crime.

Stephen Greenall
About the Author

Stephen Greenall was born in Moree in 1976. His writing has appeared in Overland and he won the 2014 NSW Writers Centre Varuna Fellowship. Winter Traffic is his first novel and was commended in the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.

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Text publication date:
30 January 2017
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Praise for Stephen Greenall
andWinter Traffic

Australian literary crime fiction has a new and lethal gunslinger in Stephen Greenall. His tough but lyrical sentences fire off the page like shotgun shrapnel, and his turns of phrase upend the genre. Winter Traffic is utterly original in every respect, from its structure to its subject matter to Greenall’s ingenious prose, the narrative casting the most vile human acts and motivations in an eerie beauty, the sentences tracing through the book like raw nerves. And nobody has ever written about the dark side of Sydney in this way. After Winter Traffic, you will see the Emerald City cast in a new, and disturbing, light.

An extraordinary and unique voice…a miracle of imagination.

‘The strangeness of timelines and darkly evocative language is drawing me deeper into its spell. Set in Sydney, the writing is akin to muscular Nick Cave-esque lyrics telling of high-class escorts in eastern suburbs brothels, bikies and laconic tough-guys nursing broken hearts. One for the dark poets.’

‘Greenall has created a fast-paced tale with an original plot whose twists and turns keep the reader guessing while remaining wholly believable. The intricacies of the plot will stay in the mind of the reader long after the last page is turned.’

‘Sydney’s underbelly has been exposed before in crime fiction, but Greenall’s visceral verse gives the genre an eloquent kick in the guts.’

‘The publishers assert Stephen Greenall is in the tradition of Peter Temple, but the real resemblance is that mad dog of mayhem and murder James Ellroy…His style is nothing if not energised. It is slick with the sweat of its own throbbing enthusiasm. A sort of heroic poetry, a bit like the wobbling camera in a Michael Mann film.’

‘Emotions run high throughout the novel and the language, like the characterisation, is extravagant, often melodic, reminiscent here of the poems of Ern Malley, falling into the rhythms of Banjo Paterson…the book rewards by its very oddity, its driving rhythms and the audacious language in which it frames it complex plot.’

‘An edgy, hard-nosed thriller set in a Sydney luminous from the outside and dark within, held together by corruption, money, and revenge. Read this one in dim lighting with a hard drink in your hand.’

‘Winter Traffic is lyrical, rhythmic and frequently poetic…It is a story of simple truths bound in complexity, a story as fresh and colloquial as it is ancient and universal. I have read some strikingly original fiction in my time but Stephen Greenall’s debut stands out amongst them.’

‘Stephen Greenall’s Winter Traffic takes hardboiled crime and gives it a literary twist…And, as this Sydney demimonde of rock stars and bikies, hidden vices and cops gone bad resolves into view, you can’t help noticing Greenall’s prose has real teeth. It’s much more jagged and alive than most writing in the genre.’

‘This is a carefully crafted book. There are rich passages of sharply witty dialogue that have their own inner grim humour. And the author is saying something about the relationship of modern Australian cosmopolitan life to its early roots in violence, but beyond that, of the basic primitiveness of human behaviour: tribal, violent, power-driven, gender-based…An impressive first novel.’

‘This lyrically written novel takes the reader on a dark ride through the sordid underbelly of the glittering harbour city.’

‘Greenall creates a plausible story of corruption, professional ambition and summary justice, where compromise is the primary ethical status of actors in a troubled moral order…Winter Traffic is a book that shows potential and rewards the reader.’

‘An experiment in both style and language, this is a literary detective novel that goes well beyond the usual parameters…The story will keep the readers guessing until the end.’

‘By the end of the opening chapter, four people are dead, one is traumatised and another has signed his own death warrant. An absorbing tale of corruption and crime in Sydney unfolds at a frenetic clip.’

‘Stephen Greenall’s Winter Traffic unveils murder and corruption in Sydney with a poetic, Temple-esque lyricism.’

Other editions ofWinter Traffic
  • Winter Traffic
    ISBN: 9781925410051
    30 January 2017
    Buy ebook