Bruce Mitchell has earned a living as a labourer, shop assistant, musician, clerk, educator, waiter, bookmaker, public servant, consultant and corporate director. His business career took him travelling across the world, with expatriate stints in South East Asia and New Zealand.
Bruce’s passion for history and interest in writing have combined in the authorship of four novels in the historical fiction genre. The ‘Thornton Series’ is a trilogy of action, adventure, laughter and tears which follows the Thornton family who migrate to Sydney in the 1840’s. ‘Dare the Dark’ is a stand-alone murder/mystery set in Sydney, 1879.
Bruce lives in the Northern Beaches region of Sydney.
Wide Sky People
Galway, Ireland. 1841. The Thornton family faces a decision which will put their lives on the line.
The Thorntons are in debt to their wealthy landlord, and their dream of owning land of their own seems an impossible one; while across the world, the colony of New South Wales calls for farmers to work the rich plains west of Sydney.
Mick and Cate and their two young boys survive 12,000 miles of treacherous seas, gales and sickness, but that’s just the start of a rollercoaster ride through dangerous territory; prison bars, crooked cops, bushfire, outlaws, and the gold rush, to name just a few.
Wide Sky People is a gripping tale of adventure in an untamed world where the price of success is hard work, a will of iron and a little luck. Two generations of Thorntons will take you on a journey of action, suspense, sadness, love and laughter. Join the people who saw a wide sky full of promise, and turned a colony into a country.
This is the first volume of the Thornton series. The second, ‘Breaking Lucky’, is out now on Amazon.
Danny ‘Lucky’ Thornton cursed his middle name.
Born in 1895, asthma almost killed him when he was four, but he survived to be among the first volunteer lifeguards on Sydney’s Coogee Beach. His sister Cath dreamed of being a doctor, but the walls of prejudice against women demanded she should ‘know her place’.
Danny came home from the Great War with a crippling wound and a shattered mind. Unable to kill his demons, he saddled a horse and rode west, looking for answers. Cath refused to listen to the voices of bigotry, and fought for the right to follow her dream.
Will Danny find solace, or self-destruct? Will Cath achieve her dream or be crushed by a male-dominated world?
Join them in this gripping story of adventure, love, and courage against the odds.
The First World War is over and the Thorntons celebrate Armistice on the streets of Sydney, but their vision of an era of peace and prosperity is about to be shattered.
Against a backdrop of the Spanish Flu, the Roaring Twenties, organised crime and the Great Depression, the Thorntons do what they’ve always done—they knuckle down and get on with life. But will that be enough? Will they survive the challenges before them or be cast upon the jagged rocks of life, like so many during those troubled times?
From the Hindenburg Line to The Hungry Mile, Wild Fennel tells the story of Sydney’s battlers who faced overwhelming odds in the chaotic 1920’s and 30’s. Join the Thornton family in a rich, sweeping novel of hope, resilience, grit, and determination.
Dare the Dark
Historical Fiction, Historical Crime Thriller
Sydney, January 1879. A body with its eyes hacked out is found in a suburban street, and a cryptic note promises more. Detectives Kennedy and Walsh scour the city for a crazed killer dubbed ‘Doctor Hacksaw’ by the press.
The body count rises, the mutilations more vicious. Somewhere there’s a crooked cop who doesn’t want the case solved. Kennedy and Walsh fit the pieces together and the picture isn’t pretty. They know who the next victim will be, and time’s running out.
There’s a killer lurking in the darkness. Can the detectives halt the carnage, or will Doctor Hacksaw bring an entire city to its knees?