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The Perfect Book Club

Martin Bryant: The Port Arthur Massacre

True Crime by Evil Killers

By: Jack Rosewood

This is the story of how on April 28th, 1996, a lone gunman with no warning, walked into a crowded cafe in the historical museum site of Port Arthur and opened fire on unsuspecting tourists with a semi-automatic assault rifle. By the time Martin Bryant's was captured nearly 24 hours later, his killing spree would claim the lives of 35 people and wound another 23 before he would finally surrender to Australian police. The massacre would become the most violent mass shooting in Australian history, committed by a 28 year psychopath with a long history of mental disorders including schizophrenia and depression. In this Australian true crimes investigative report, you'll relive the shocking true story of the Port Arthur Massacre including an in-depth analysis of Bryant's bizarre behavior leading up to his murderous rampage that killed men, women and children in cold blood. Written in vivid graphic detail, this is the story of the events that unfolded as told from the accounts of those that witnessed and survived one of the worst mass murders in Australian history.


It is clear that  writer Jack is starting out his career in true crime writing and may not have the publication support required to produce a high quality product for the masses. This book is order to print and contains a number of grammatical errors, but not enough to be a major problem. With a good editor this could be fixed rather quickly. The content is good though, quick and easy to read. You sort of feel like you are by Martin Bryant's side during the massacre which is chilling, unnerving and interesting at the same time. My motivation to read these types of books is based on the psychology of the killer. So for me it was an endeavour to understand why Bryant did what he did and what factors lead to him doing it. Surprisingly this book gave me a few simple answers and confirmed a few things as well. That is that everyone knew Bryant was a problem, but he did not met the criteria for arrest or detainment. Bryant was just strange and all the stars aligned to give him the means to be able to pull off such an atrocity. how society deals with the people who have the potential to do this type of thing remains a challenge due to human rights, and the mental health / criminal justice systems, which rightly so, can only act on behaviour once it has presented itself or happened. Overall a simple but satisfying read. 

***3 STARS


Missing William Tyrrell

By: Caroline Overington

One minute a little boy is playing outside his foster nana's house, the next minute, he's gone. How can a three year old child simply disappear? On Friday 12 September 2014, William Tyrrell - a playful three-year-old boy dressed in a fire-engine red Spider-Man suit - disappears from a quiet street in broad daylight. It's assumed he's lost in the nearby bush land, but despite an intensive search, he's not found, and police start to suspect he's been abducted. No trace of William - not a shoe, not a hair - has ever been found, but now is not the time to surrender. How can a little boy just vanish? We have to find him. 


Well done Caroline Overington on writing this book. I must say what a challenge to write a book that is respectful to all parties involved in this case. So much has happened and sometimes it has been the wrong thing, but it has always been for the right reason - to find William. What Caroline has done so well is explain the whole story without the secrecy that mystified the public and cause so much gossip for such a long time. It was so well written and provided every detail that is available for the reader to mull over. I think everyone should read this and continue to talk about William and share with anyone who will listen. it is baffling that this occurred where in did in a quiet village in the country. 

***** 5 STARS

Cops, Drugs, Lawyer X and Me

By: Paul DaleVikki Petraitis

The astonishing true story of a cop who found himself enmeshed in the biggest scandal in the history of Victoria Police. 'How did a kid from the country who dreamed of joining the Victoria Police, end up on the wrong side of the bars? There are a lot of reasons, and I hope this story will help clarify some of them, not only for you, the reader, but for me too, because a lot of the time I am left shaking my head, wondering how things went so wrong.' Paul Dale knows he is tainted. After almost fifteen years as a cop, working in Homicide and rising to the rank of Detective Sergeant in the Victorian Drug Squad, he saw the worst of what people can do. But when he was accused and jailed firstly for drug offences and then for murder, Dale realised the murky world he was navigating was going to take him under too. Dale dealt with crims like Carl Williams, Terry Hodson and Tommy Ivanovic on the Melbourne streets. But when a burglary ended in Hodson's arrest, Dale's life started to unravel. He turned to Nicola Gobbo, a lawyer and friend he thought could help: the lawyer who became known as Lawyer X. Eventually exonerated of any crimes, Paul Dale's story reveals the shocking deals done at the highest levels of the Victorian Police Force and the damage wrought by Victoria Police's use of Lawyer X. 


I have read nearly everything that you can on Melbourne's infamous Gangland War and tried to see every point of view and work out 'what really happened'. If you are like me you cannot get enough of it and want to know whose who in the zoo. Well this is definitely another angle and a necessary angle I believe as Paul Dale appears to provide information back up by facts and I must say I was inclined to believe him. Perhaps not on everything, I don't think he is telling the whole truth regarding his relationships with Williams and Gobbo, but in relation to the infamous Dublin Street drug house I have to say I believe him. Overall the information provided on Terence and Christine Hodgson murders is fascinating and the amount of general information to your understanding of this story is well worth the read. To be honest I loved it and read it over two nights. Highly recommend to any true crime fanatics, especially readers who love Australian True Crime or anything Underworld.  

**** 4 STARS

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