This practice-led PhD consists of two elements - a crime novel titled 'The Fingerprint Thief' and an accompanying exegesis discussing the techniques and creative pathways utilised when creating this novel. The novel draws heavily on the genre of the police procedural but also aims to move beyond that genre by introducing a forensically-employed protagonist whose textual readings of fingerprints reveals character, lifestyle and emotion in a poetic manner. The novel is set in 1990s Melbourne during the construction of the Burnley Tunnel and follows a fingerprinter’s investigation of the murder of a young anthropology student. The exegesis explores key writerly choices such as why the novel is a crime fiction, what crimes drive the narrative, whether to privilege plot or character during the initial writing of the text, and how to represent groups society has ‘othered’. The methodology of the exegesis is threefold. Firstly, it aims to present a reflective examination of existing works in the genre of crime fiction and calls on the practices of comparable practitioners such as Patricia Cornwell, Raymond Chandler, Kathryn Fox and Marele Day. Secondly, it offers an evaluation of the relationship between my work and a range of critical theories as disparate as Georg Simmel’s concept of the ‘stranger’, Kate Millett’s arguments about patriarchy, and Gayatri Spivak’s writings on the subaltern. Finally, it interrogates my own processes as a writer and the specific creative techniques that lay open to me as I wrote the novel.