Bumper: the life and times of Frank ‘Bumper’ Farrell, by Larry Writer

Fascinating biography of famous Sydney inner city cop from the period 1938 to 1976. Farrell was a highly successful sportsman – he represented Australia in rugby league – and a big, violent man who used his fists, and sometimes his teeth, to impose justice on his beat. In many ways he seems to have been a classic Sydney detective of the better sort, who tolerated a certain amount of crime, such as gambling and prostitution, and occasionally took money (but not really in return for allowing crime to occur), and was also engaged in occasional acts of kindness to the desperate people he sometimes dealt with.

Author Larry Writer (Razor) wrote this book with the co-operation of Farrell’s family, and brings to it the vigour, learning and – occasionally – the subtlety it requires.