The Old School

The Old School Author : P.M. Newton
Country : Australia

The Old School is the first in a series featuring the part-Aboriginal, part-Vietnamese detective Nhu ‘Ned” Kelly.

The Old School is the first in a series featuring the part-Aboriginal, part-Vietnamese detective Nhu ‘Ned” Kelly. The novel is set in 1992 in Bankstown, a Sydney suburb that fits the novel’s plot and action very well: a clash of different cultures living together, stark economic contrasts, streets overcrowded with people and traffic, rampant property development, organized crime, and Aboriginal communities fighting for their rights—for native title and against state violence and deaths in custody. The social realism of the plot is strengthened by a reference to PM Paul Keating’s ground-breaking Redfern Speech (1992), and the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigations that purged the Sydney police department in the early 1990s. In that scenario, the young, mixed-race policewoman Nhu ‘Ned” Kelly is trying to work her way up within the NSW police, and finds herself immersed in a case involving of two skeletons in the concrete foundations of a building being demolished and the death of an old homeless Aboriginal man, which ends up affecting her personal life. Newton’s characterisation is convincing, as well as her setting, with plenty of attention to realistic detail. Ned, her mentor and boss TC, her sister Linh and aunt MM, along with various other police and members of the Aboriginal community create a tight social network that support the main character and plot. The novel also reveals Ned’s father’s Vietnam connections, as well as the truth behind the death of her parents, many years ago.

  • Add a review