My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A pared-down, blow-by-blow description of the murder of his parents by an unbelievable moron, the sole interest for which is based upon the family involved being half as rich as Croesus. The case received some notoriety in Melbourne because of the wealthy nature of the family involved, but based on this account, the whole case is notable only for the ironic laughability of murderous halfwit Matthew Wales.
To create narrative interest out of a murder case so open and shut that the bodies are found a fortnight after they disappeared and the only viable suspect gives an unprompted full confession less than two weeks after that would take a crime writer with the storytelling flair of an Ann Rule or Truman Capote. Hilary Bonney has none of their skill. Perhaps all the truly engrossing moments were excised out of the expanded edition, but I’m prepared to doubt it. It’s much more likely to follow the formula a)high-profile murder case captures public interest, b) publisher decides to cash in, c) high profile society lawyer grabs the cash.
A recounting with no insight, no ambition, and no lessons to be learned about the human condition. whatever fleeting interest lies within its pages comes from wondering how the dullard at the heart of the story could get so many things wrong in such quick succession. This condensed volume is part of a 4-volume set called “The True Crime Briefcase”. I’m betting it’s the runt of the litter.