Scream Black Murder

Scream Black Murder Author : Philip McLaren
Country : Australia

Scream Black Murder (HarperCollins 1995, reissued Magabala Books 2001, 181p.) is an urban police-detective thriller based on the police killing of David Gundy in Redfern in 1989

Scream Black Murder (HarperCollins 1995, reissued Magabala Books 2001, 181p.) is an urban police-detective thriller based on the police killing of David Gundy in Redfern in 1989. Setting a lot of the action in Sydney, McLaren breaks new ground in Australian crime fiction by introducing an Indigenous male and female detective as the central characters in the urban setting. Members of the first Aboriginal Homicide Unit in New South Wales, Gary Leslie has a sparring background, whereas Lisa Fuller has a Stolen Generation mission school past. They both engage in the investigation of a deranged white serial killer, whose italicised stream of consciousness narrative contemplating his murders of black Indigenous women brings (white) readers uncomfortably close to his madness. The motives that move the murderer are to be sought in his violent youth, while his predilection for black women results partly induced by the space for crime the lax attitude of the authorities towards interracial violence allows. Yet, McLaren paints a nuanced picture of racism in the way Gary and Lisa are not tolerated and supported by some but not all non-Indigenous colleagues in the corps. Gary and Lisa follow a strict police procedural method to hunt down the killer, and in doing so prove their effectiveness and worth as investigators and agents of law, while doing away with the ‘natural suspicion’ the police authorities have usually received in Australian society and fiction.

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