Post Script: Eugenia A True Story of Adversity, Tragedy, Crime and Courage – Mark Tedeschi QC

Eugenia: A True Story of Adversity, Tragedy, Crime and Courage

Eugenia

Mark Tedeschi

Simon &Schuster Australia

A CBS Company

ISBN: 9781922052315

 

Description:

Eugenia Falleni was a woman, who in 1920 was charged with the murder of her wife.

She had lived in Australia for twenty-two years as a man and during that time married twice. Three years after the mysterious disappearance of Annie, her first wife, Eugenia was arrested and charged with her murder. This is the story of one of the most extraordinary criminal trials in legal history anywhere in the world. The book traces Eugenia’s history: from her early years in New Zealand, to her brutal treatment aboard a merchant ship and then her life in Sydney, living as Harry Crawford – exploring how Harry managed to convince two wives that he was a man, culminating with Annie’s’ death, the police investigation, Harry’s second marriage to Lizzie, and then arrest for Annie’s murder three years after she had disappeared.

This book is true crime, true grit and truly gripping. It Includes; a tragic main character who believed she was a man trapped in the body of a woman, sexual deception in the dark, an allegation of murder, an over exuberant police investigation, an erudite judge, a determined prosecutor, an overwhelmed defender, a Press gone feral, a public clamouring or blood – a mix that inevitably led to a miscarriage of justice.

My View:

An act of true crime that is as bizarre as any work of fiction I have read, this book is compelling yet moving reading. This is the first time I have felt sympathy for the accused, for the circumstances she lived in, for the social mores that restricted her life choices that ultimately lead to her prison sentence; a sentence that hindsight allows  us to see as unjust and undeserving and as Mark Tedeschi states, all the circumstances that conspired against her “inevitably led to a miscarriage of justice.”

This is a very well researched and presented case; Tedeschi writes with grace and without prejudice, stating facts, as Tedeschi reveals on page 313 when asked if he thinks was Eugenia guilty he responds, “My answer is always the same; that is the wrong question. The right question is: Was there sufficient evidence to justify her conviction for murder…If her trial was held today, I am quite convinced that she would either be acquitted outright or, at most, convicted of manslaughter.”

This case makes fascinating reading – a trial by media, a trial for the crime of being other. I would like to think that as a society we have made significant progress is how we accept otherness, but largely I am ashamed to say I think that we are all too quick to judge by appearances and today’s modern media and specifically social media, hold so much power in how we interpret the world around us. Power it doesn’t deserve.

 

 

Post Script: Silent Kill – Peter Corris

Silent Kill

Silent Kill

Peter Corris

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781743316375

 

Description:

Politics, murder and sex push Hardy to the limit.

When Cliff Hardy signs on as a bodyguard for charismatic populist Rory O’Hara, who is about to embark on a campaign of social and political renewal, it looks like a tricky job – O’Hara has enemies. A murder and a kidnapping cause the campaign to fall apart.

Hired to investigate the murder, Hardy uncovers hidden agendas among O’Hara’s staff as well as powerful political and commercial forces at work. His investigation takes him from the pubs and brothels of Sydney to the heart of power in Canberra and the outskirts of Darwin. There he teams up with a resourceful Indigenous private detective and forms an uneasy alliance with the beautiful Penelope Marinos, formerly O’Hara’s PA.

A rogue intelligence agent becomes his target and Hardy stumbles upon a terrible secret that draws them into a violent – and disturbing – confrontation.

My View:

For those of you who like your crime read in the “hard boiled” style this is for you; this narrative provides intrigue, political manipulation, a protagonist who is basically the stereo typical detective action hero. Cliff hardy is a tough guy with principles; he fights for his beliefs, he protects and tries to save/get  the “girl”, he drinks a little, plays pool and is not a push over. Cliff Hardy is battle toughened.

In all I found this to be a well written narrative though the characters were a little stereotyped and out dated and the action didn’t really excite until the final chapters. A quick read with a somewhat satisfying end.

Post Script: Close Up – Kate Forster

A great story that brought a tear to my eyes.

Close Up, Kate Forster

Close Up

Kate Forster

Michael Joseph

Penguin Books

ISBN: 9781921901638

 

Description:

A racy, romantic, escapist story filled with glamour and heart and set in the movie world of Hollywood, by the author of Seduction and The Perfect Location.

In Hollywood, not everyone is ready for their close up, especially when it exposes the secrets of past …

Zoe Greene manages the careers of Hollywood’s biggest stars. She’ll do anything to help them – and herself – get ahead.

Actress Maggie Hall has been America’s sweetheart for nearly twenty years. And she’s about to learn that there are two things in life you just can’t fight: growing older and falling in love.

Dylan Mercer – young, beautiful and defiant – has run away from New York to try her luck in Hollywood. She’s not after fame and fortune, though. Dylan’s on a quest to find her birth mother.

All three women are swept up in the search for the actress who will score the role of a lifetime. But ambition and desire can bring out the worst in people. And in a town built on illusions, believing you can escape your past might just be the biggest illusion of all.

My View:

They say you should never judge a book by its cover – and how true this proved to be.  Something about the cover just made me think in stereo types; of trashy romance novels. But this book was anything but a trashy romance – this was a skilfully written narrative filled with interesting well fleshed out characters, it has some interesting plot twists and turns, great settings  painted in vivid colours, a bit of romance and a great story about female friendship.  I have had such a friendship – a friend from my first days of high school – Darlene if you are reading this – it is time we picked up the phone, it has been too long. J

This narrative talked to me about my work life – no I don’t work in Hollywood but I do work in film and TV in Australia – and it is not a glamorous business. It is cruel, mostly thankless and competitive. The playing field is not even.  These elements it shares with Hollywood.But enough of that – you will discover all and more when you read this book for yourself.

In all, a very well written story, engaging characters, strong female protagonists, a great story of enduring friendship and lessons about love and the scenes with the dog (no spoilers here) brought a tear to my eye.  Kate Forster is a great Australian writer.

Post Script: Broken – Vanessa skye

Violence, sex addiction, relationship problems, office politics and crime – this book has it all!

Broken

Vanessa Skye

The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House

ISBN: 9781612132129

 

 

Description:

A mother is murdered in an apparent robbery.

A young woman is raped and beaten in a home invasion.

Chicago Detective Alicia “Berg” Raymond doesn’t believe in random crime and is certain both cases are more than they seem—but can she trust her instincts, or is she too distracted by the feelings she has for former partner and new boss? For Berg, the need for justice burns deep and fills the emptiness where therapy and relationships fall short.

She’s certain the husband knows more than he’s willing to admit, but the trap to catch the killer is the loophole that sets him free.

The rapist is caught and sent to prison, but when Berg gets closer to the family devastated by his depravity, their behaviour doesn’t add up.

As Berg fights to prevent another murder, she crosses the line between hero and villain—and there’s no turning back.

** Vanessa Skye is a journalist and public relations executive from Sydney, Australia, who has always loved a good story. Enthralled with examining the motivations behind people’s actions, Vanessa realized what she really wanted to do in life was combine her love of words with her fascination for human behaviour. Inspired by a recurring dream, Vanessa wrote her crime fiction debut, The Enemy Inside.

My View:

I think my appreciation of the characters and the back story would have been enhanced if I had read the earlier book, The Enemy Inside. There are many references to this earlier work and without this background I think it took me a little while to engage with this narrative. I struggled along piecing together the existing relationships, past misdemeanours and the serious and abusive history of Berg’s childhood and the horrendous events that took place at her workplace before this new chapter in her life begins. I had a lot to catch up on.

However once caught up I found this to be a fast paced, action packed police procedural with plenty to keep me interested. The plot twisted and turned and I feared for the inevitable as Berg’s life  spun out of control and began to disintegrate before my eyes. I must warn the potential reader; this story comes with a lot of graphic sex, explicit language and violence. It is not for the faint hearted.

Post Script: SNOOP – Eleni Konstantine

SNOOP

SNOOP

Eleni Konstantine

MusaPublishing

ISBN: 9781619376366

Description:

Bob’s rule of investigating: Never take the paranormal at face value.

Daisy Luck is a SNOOP – Sanctioned Nationalized Officer Of the Paranormal. Her latest case involving a vampire and a gremlin has her private eye senses in a spin. Throw in yummy Detective Maroney and her life couldn’t get more complicated – or could it?

My View:

This novella was a delightful introduction to the paranormal/fantasy world of Daisy Luck P.I. This read is engaging and light and instantly lifted my spirits (no pun intended). A perfect pick me up for the weary, jaded reader and a great introduction to the author’s skill set – her wonderful imagination, entertaining words, characters that are quirky and likeable, and a paranormal narrative with a hint of romance – a great combination. I look forward to reading more by this Australian writer in the near future.

Post Script: Monkey Business – Kathryn Ledson

Here is my contribution to Australia Day 2014 and the Australia Day Book Giveaway Blog Hop being hosted Shelleyrae at  Book’d Out. Please check out the other participants on the  Book’d Out site.

Please comment if you would like to be considered for a giveaway –  by an Australian author –  Chick Lit, Memoir, Crime Fiction or Recipe Book.

AustraliaDaybloghop2014

My reveiw:

Monkey Business

Monkey Business

Kathryn Ledson

Michael Joseph

The Penguin Group

ISBN: 9781921901164

 

 

Description:

Erica Jewell reckons being a part-time vigilante is stressful enough, without the added pressures of a demanding day job, annoying family and bossy cat. Now her mysterious lover has vanished on some clandestine mission, without leaving a forwarding address. Erica thinks that’s pretty typical of hired gun Jack Jones – he’d rather risk his life than his heart.

Then Erica discovers with a shock that Jack is M.I.A. on the jungle-infested island of Saint Sebastian. When no one seems willing to help find Jack or even acknowledge his existence, Erica knows she’s his only chance. But negotiating her way around lawless and sweltering Sebastian, where monkey business abounds, proves far more dangerous than she expected.

Fast-paced, funny and totally engaging, Monkey Business blends adventure and romance in an irresistible summer read.

My View:

A delicious snack of fun and laughter.

I really enjoyed this easy reading, fast paced piece of escapist writing; for several hours I laughed to myself and got lost and involved in the madcap world of Erica Jewell.  This is perfect read for on the train, plane or beach or when you need cheering up – light, engaging, funny and all action completed with an authentic Australian voice.

There is something about this  novel that is so engaging – maybe it is its Australianness – the characters and the narrative do not take themselves seriously, there is a glorious sense of fun and madness that the author does not  try to justify – it just is what it is – fun, light, entertaining. The characters and settings are familiar and memorable –   who doesn’t know of Tupperware parties, of standing in queues at night clubs,  of exotic overseas holiday destinations (not), handsome heroes , demanding mothers, true good friends and mysteries galore – what isn’t there to love about this book? Ledson strikes the right balance of fun and adventure, danger and romance. A great entertaining read.

Aussie Author Challenge 2014

2014 Aussie Author Challenge

Join me on this easy challenge – easy, as there are so many great Australian Writers to choose books by. 

Start reading now!

 

Aussie Author Challenge 2014 final badgeThe Aussie Author Challenge is back for its fifth year!

Whether you are a patriotic Australian, an aspiring or armchair tourist or simply an international reader wanting to discover some talented new authors and interact with like-minded readers, the Aussie Author Challenge could be for you!

The objective of this challenge is to showcase the wonderful diversity of the work being produced by Australian authors.