Heat, red dirt, crocodiles, lonely roads, guns, drugs, madmen, murder . . . and the shocking true story of the dead heart of Australia and its most notorious denizen, Bradley John Murdoch.
'Brad Murdoch is not just Brad Murdoch. He's a breed, a type. There are Murdochs all across northern Australia and they run to kind. White or beige Toyota Land Cruiser HZJ75 utility. Canvas canopy off the back with built-in flyscreen mesh. Six-pack foam esky for up front of the cab on long drives and a serious full-grown Rubbermaid esky for the back of vehicle to be accessed on piss-stops. Engel electric car fridge, naturally. Cop-type swivel camping spotlight at the rear. Weapons of various types - revolvers, pistols, rifles, bludgeons. Loves his mates but always disappointed by women.'
In the twenty years since Azaria Chamberlain's disappearance, Territory death has lost none of its fascination. Murder is murder, wherever it happens, but when it collides with tourist country - the Australian outback - it usually sparks a frenzy of speculation and blame. When Peter Falconio disappeared on 14 July 2001, his girlfriend Joanne Lees endured a trial by media, Lindy Chamberlain style. Falconio's body was never recovered, but Brad Murdoch was found guilty of his murder in December 2005 and given a non-parole period of 28 years: one year for every year of the British backpacker's young life.
Paul Toohey takes us right inside the crazed world of Bradley John Murdoch - a life lived on the road, fuelled by drugs and alcohol - a heady mix of racism, guns and nothingness. It's about the weirdness of north and western Australia, and what happens when distance, heat and lawlessness take control.
Paul Toohey covered Peter Falconio's disappearance for The Australian and the subsequent committal and trial of Bradley John Murdoch for The Bulletin, where he has been a senior writer since 2003. He started out in Darwin newspapers, tried his hand at rock and roll writing, was a creative force behind ACP's Picture magazine and an editor of Truth newspaper and the short-lived but spectacular World magazine. In the mid-90s he began writing longer stories. His first book, God's Little Acre, was published in 1996, followed by Rocky Goes West in 1997. He has won the Graham Perkin Journalist of the Year and a Walkley Award for magazine feature writing. He lives in Darwin.
Short-listed Western Australian Premier's Book Awards 2008 AU
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
0 - 0