Tropical North Australia 1980

Seth Kelly is the nicest bad guy around. Dope grower, bouncer and party animal – he’s got a smile as big as his rep. Returning to his hometown Cairns, he finds that new players – Sydney criminals, the Mafia and the most corrupt police force in the country – are changing all the rules.

When a teenage runaway, a marijuana kingpin and a wealthy guru enter his life, Seth realises that everything he knew is now out of date. He’s a tough bastard but the automatic weapons, vulnerable young women, kung-fu kicks, and freaky spirituality are starting to get to him.

All he wants is that one big score, a chance to rekindle the best relationship of his life, and to keep the darkest memory from his past right out of his head.


Trouble is, what’s really got Seth running         . . . is himself.

The Colour of Shadows is the first book in a trilogy set in the wild, beautiful world of Far North Queensland, Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. If you like your noir drenched in sunshine and with more than a little heart and soul – then this white-knuckle thrill ride is for you.

For video, images, music and other retro thrills check out the website

The Colour of Shadows is out now and available as an eBook and as a paperback from Barnes & Noble, Book Depository and other major online booksellers. For signed copies from the author, at AU$35.00 with postage, and for all other inquiries, please write to [email protected]

About the Author

After a South Pacific childhood, Gawain Barker spent the next 30 years cooking around the world – especially in Far North Queensland. From TV chefs like Rick Stein and Ainsley Harriott, to techno ravers and bare-foot hippies, he has worked with the biggest cast of kitchen characters imaginable. His culinary autobiography – 200 Kitchens: Confessions of a Nomad Chef – tells this unique, and very funny, story. For more about the book and where to buy it.

Now retired from the kitchen, Gawain is writing full-time, focused on his retro crime thriller trilogy which explores the rough-as-guts social mores, endemic corruption and absolute personal freedoms of the era.Through extensive research, much personal experience and many interviews with old-school personalities, he is recreating an untold time and place; a place filled with epic natural beauty, extreme conditions and some very dangerous people.






Bushbrother is also an art & design studio. For a selection of work please check out the galleries.