Broulee author Russell Schneider AM's latest book offers an explosive view on the mysterious disappearance of French explorer La Perouse in 1788.
"The French naval hero arrived in Australia only days after the First Fleet and spent almost two months at Botany Bay while the British moved to Port Jackson," Mr Schneider said.
In his work of fiction, The Secret Diaries of Watkin Tench, Mr Schneider explores events leading up to the First Fleet voyage and the little known reasons for establishing the first European settlement in what would become Australia.
"Watkin Tench was a captain of marines who in 1789 published the first account of the voyage and the settlement," Mr Schneider said.
"He kept a daily journal and this was the basis of his detailed descriptions of the colony, the flora and fauna, indigenous inhabitants, the weather and the crops.
"Much of what we know about the settlement is based on his work. But the actual diaries disappeared."
Mr Schneider is prepared for any controversy his fictional attempt to fill in the gaps might engender.
"The information in the journals will, to say the least, be controversial as they place quite a different perspective on the assumptions historians have made," he said.
"There is no sound reason to believe the events outlined in the Secret Diaries, sensational as they may be, could not have occurred.
"The Diaries will create shockwaves in Sydney, London and Paris.
"The book explains why the British Government decided to send an expedition to the most remote part of the world in a voyage which was equivalent to a trip to the moon today.
"Along the way Tench provides extensive details of the background to many of the convicts, marines and Governor Arthur Phillip. And he reveals the reasons behind the hanging of Tom Barrett, first man to swing in the colony.
"Finally it deals with the interchanges between the French, British and indigenous inhabitants and the British, culminating with La Perouse' two ships leaving Australia never to be seen again.
"The wreckage of the ships was later found at Vanikoro, in the Solomon Islands and it has been assumed La Perouse and his crew perished there after leaving Australia ... but did they?"
The Secret Diaries is available from Moruya Books, Church Street, Moruya. Mr Schneider has written two other books on Australian politics: War Without Blood and The Colt from Kooyong.