Vivid Publishing - Book Publishers Australia

The King of San Francisco

Bruce L. Russell &
Kelvin White


"In The King of San Francisco, drug-dealers, dreamers and femme fatales swim in the sunlit swimming pool of 1970s California - but the garden hides more guns, drugs and low-life than Philip Marlowe ever encountered. Even the sea breeze is reefer-sweet, a soul-soup of poetry, philosophy and danger. You can’t help but inhale."
– Graham Kershaw (The Home Crowd, Dovetail Road, Undersummer).


San Francisco, 1978. Sam Riddell is visiting his brother en route to a long-awaited adventure in Central America and points south. But from his first night at Curtis’s fashionable apartment, the visit turns lethal. He is soon embroiled in a savage world of gun-running and drug-dealing, a world softened only by the presence of Sally, the enigmatic English girlfriend whom Curtis neglects.
Events multiply with alarming speed. Curtis sends Sam and Sally to the highlands of Guatemala to deal with a deranged dictator, who regularly executes rebellious underlings. They escape with their lives, only to return to mayhem back home, where the fruits of Curtis’s machinations have become dangerously overripe.
From the opening pages of The King, anything goes. A cross country flight in a camper van see Sam and Sally pursued by a hired killer. Five years on, they reinvent themselves as New York sophisticates. But the shadow cast by Curtis and his enemies is long and, in the end, threatens everything they have built together.


About the Authors

Bruce L Russell , Kelvin White

Bruce L. Russell (right)
Bruce’s first novel, Jacob’s Air (1996), won the Hungerford Award and was published by Fremantle Arts Centre Press. He followed with two more novels, The Chelsea Manifesto (1999)and Channelling Henry (2003), both published by FACP. Since then, he has published Reunion (Vivid, 2013) and three commissioned biographies, Blackie (2016), Under the Radar (2020) and Il Capitano (2023). His first collaboration with Kelvin White, Birthright, was published by Ingram in 2024. Read more at

Kelvin White (above, left)
Kelvin’s first work, Oh, How We Rocked (a musical memoir), was self-published in 2021. Since then, his Spencer Marlowe adventures, The Singapore Saga, The Hawaiian Intervention and The Manhattan Sting have attracted an enthusiastic audience online.  He has recently completed a further collaboration with Tali A. Sandbridge, titled The Russia Brief, available on Amazon.




The King of San Francisco by Bruce L. Russell & Kelvin White
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ISBN: 978-1-923078-34-5
Format: Paperback C 229mm x 152mm
Extent: 264 pages
RRP: $30.00
Publisher: Vivid Publishing
Category: Australian Fiction.