The old school by PM Newton

PM Newton

PM Newton

In summary: 
  • This detective novel set in Bankstown includes family history and geographical and cultural references that Sydney-siders will enjoy
  • The Old School is the first novel by Master of Arts in Writing by Research student PM Newton

The central character in PM Newton’s novel The Old School, Detective Nhu (Ned) Kelly is a new kind of heroine. Nhu is a young Asian female detective who, in the masculine-defined culture of NSW Police, breaks new ground by providing a voice that blows apart cultural stereotypes of Asian women and female police officers.

It’s refreshing to come across a ‘tough’ female cop that is more reflective of the contemporary experience of younger Australian women, especially first-born generation migrants. The Old School kicks-off in Goulburn Police Academy with Nhu taking part in undercover police work. Right from the start, Newton crafts a fast-paced narrative in which the reader is drawn into Nhu’s professional and private world and the culture of NSW Police, through the heroine’s experiences.

What at first appears to be a straightforward call out to a Bankstown building site becomes a murder investigation that takes Nhu on a journey of discovery and reveals a previously unknown family history. Newton has taken time to include Sydney geographical and cultural references that add an additional pleasure to readers familiar with the city. Even as a reader of mostly non-fiction I found myself unable to put this book down.

PM Newton is currently studying a Master of Arts in Writing by Research at UTS. The Old School is her first novel.

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