Review: The Arsonist by Chloe Hooper

Title: The Arsonist: Mind on Fire

Author: Chloe Hooper

Published: 15th October 2018, Viking

Status: Read December 2020

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My Thoughts:

Bushfires are practically synonymous with Summer in Australia, and there have been several severe and deadly conflagrations since its settlement including the recent large scale fire of 2019/2020. Of these blazes however, Black Saturday has the dubious distinction of claiming the most lives in recorded history.

On Saturday 7th February 2009, as temperatures soared to the mid 40’s, there were as many as four hundred separate fires burning in Victoria. By the time they were extinguished 450,000 ha (1,100,000 acres) of land had been razed, over 3500 structures (including homes, commercial premises, and agricultural buildings) were destroyed, stock and crops were lost, and 173 people lost their lives while hundreds more were injured.

One of the blazes, known as The Churchill Complex fire, started in the early afternoon on 7 February 2009 in the Latrobe Valley. The fire travelled rapidly, impacting on several towns in south east Victoria. Eleven people died as a result of the fire, 145 houses were destroyed, and more than 25,861 hectares were burnt. Less than a week after the fire began, investigators were able to determine that it was caused by arson.

In The Arsonist: Mind on Fire, Chloe Hooper tells the story of this disastrous event, and its devastating impact on its victims. She then details the investigation that identified Brendan Sokaluk, a Churchill local, as responsible, and his subsequent trial and conviction.

The statements from those that lost loved one’s, and property, are heartbreaking to read. Survivors, including the rural firefighters who fought the blaze, were forever changed by their confrontation with the fire, and the event continued to take a toll long after the fire was extinguished.

In Australia, Hooper reports, around 13% of vegetation fires are maliciously lit and it’s estimated that only one per cent of bushfire arsonists are ever caught. This is often because the fires are started in unpopulated areas, and the subsequent blaze conveniently destroys any evidence that may have remained. In the case of the Churchill Complex fire, investigators quickly suspected arson was at play and their attention was drawn to the suspicious behaviour of a man identified as Brendan Sokaluk.

Hooper takes us through the investigation, drawing on a number of perspectives to show how the police reached their conclusions about the cause of the fire, and who was to blame. Brendan Sokaluk, a 39 year old local resident, was seen in the area of ignition, by multiple witnesses, and met the general profile of an arsonist – he was from a disadvantaged background, unemployed, and anti social. During his initial interview, Sokaluk confessed to setting the fire ‘accidentally’, and then retracted his admission, but while it became clear to officers that Brendan had some level of cognitive deficiency, several suspected he was exaggerating his inability to comprehend the investigating detectives questions. Nevertheless the police felt they had enough information to charge Sokaluk with ten counts of arson causing death, and 181 other charges, the majority relating to criminal damage (plus a charge of possession for child pornography found on his computer that was later dropped).

While a psychiatric assessment declared Sokaluk fit to stand trial, his lawyers were never confident that he understood the gravity of the charges against him, nor the mechanics of the legal proceedings. Brendan never took the stand, and no true motive for starting the fire was ever established. The trial began in 2011, nearly three years after Sokaluk’s arrest, and Hooper leads the reader through the process that eventually saw him convicted and sentenced to 17 years plus time served (3 years). With his fourteen year minimum, Sokaluk will be eligible for parole in 2023.

I found The Arsonist to be a well-written and balanced account of Black Saturday, though I was expecting Hooper would a provide a little more detail and context to the disaster itself. I do think her reportage on the investigation was concise, and of the trial, nuanced. She is respectful of those who were most affected by the blaze, but not without empathy for Brendan Sokaluk and his family.

Fire is a merciless beast, one the Australian landscape is particularly susceptible to, especially as we head towards even more extreme temperatures in a changing climate. Having ignored much of the Aboriginal wisdom in managing the land with fire, there is ample fuel for people to ignite for any one of the complicated reasons arsonists do so, and Hooper suggests we ignore the risks at our peril.

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Available from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I HiveUK I Indiebound

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #10

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge, and I hope you’ll join me again next year…you can SIGN UP NOW for 2021!

There are still 26 days of the 2020 challenge to go, so keep reading!

I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left. The Linky to add your 2020 review to can be found on the permanent challenge page. Look for the text in orange, or CLICK HERE

On the first Saturday of each month, I highlight a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

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In November…

DeniseNewtonWrites says of Phosphorescence by Julia Baird, “It’s a broad ranging exploration of what gives joy, wonder, passion, hope, purpose; especially what keeps people going during the hard times…..[it] is a book to be savoured, enjoyed, mulled over and returned to again and again.”

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The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan is about the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC, and the people involved with it. Barbara of StrayThoughts felt it was “…. a flowing and fascinating story…..

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Beyond the Call [by Lee Trimble and Jeremy Dronfield] is the well-written, fast paced account of one of the 20th century’s little known rescue operations. Consider it must reading for anyone interested in World War II, or a thrilling rescue story.” writes Maphead

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Tracey of Carpe Librum recommends How To Breakup With Friends by Dr Hannah Korrell, “For those who have never confronted a friend over their poor behaviour and have felt powerless to stop friends treating them badly, this is a must read! It will empower you to ditch your toxic friend and re-invest that time somewhere else.”

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“Reading Family in Six Tones [by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Van Cao] immerses us in the refugee experience…..the loss, the trauma, the fear, the uncertainty, the confusion, and the longing for home.” writes Carol at The Reading Ladies Book Club, “It is an honest, heartfelt, detailed, and ambitious read.”

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Have you completed your challenge goal?

Please share your link to the COMPLETED challenge LINKY HERE or CLICK HERE and feel free to download this ‘Completed’ badge to add to your sidebar.

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What will you be reading in December ?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #9

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge so far, and since sign-ups are open until December 1st, a few more may decide to join us during the year.

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange.

On the first Saturday of each month, I will be highlighting a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

 

In September…

 

Maya at Bookshelf Life strongly recommends The Twins of Auschwitz by Eva Mozes Kor. She found it to be an absolutely heart breaking story, but an important learning experience.

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In Lucid Dreaming Made Easy – A Beginner’s Guide to Waking Up in Your Dreams by Charlie Morely, Tracey of Carpe Librum discovered, “… there’s sooooo much more to lucid dreaming and I’ve only been scratching the surface.”

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To Sir With Love [by E.R.Braithwaite] is an inspiring and articulate true account of a man who rose above bitterness, dealt with his own arrogance and prejudice, and enabled a bunch of feral teenagers to embark on adult life with dignity and hope. A book well worth reading and a great story for a future (or present) teacher to immerse themselves in.” writes Carol from Journey-and-Destination

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Anjana at Superfluous Reading read The Case of the Vanishing Blonde: And Other True Crime Stories by Mark Bowden. Of the six articles included, she preferred the ‘ straightforward investigative cases’

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“There are stories in this examination of domestic abuse in Australia that will never leave my mind. They are horrific, and Hill’s telling of them is powerful. Some chapters stand out, in particular the section on Indigenous Australians.” Writes Kate of BooksAreMyFavouriteandBest about See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill

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Do any of these interest you? What will you be reading in October?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #8

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge so far, and since sign-ups are open until December 1st, a few more may decide to join us during the year.

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange.

On the first Saturday of each month, I will be highlighting a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

 

IN AUGUST….

Tracey of CarpeLibrum chose to read Shark Arm – A Shark, A Tattooed Arm and Two Unsolved Murders, by Australian authors Phillip Roope and Kevin Meagher for the True Crime category. It delves into the case of a murder discovered when a captured shark vomited a man’s tattooed arm in a Sydney aquarium.

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There’s A Zoo in My Poo written by Felice Jacka and illustrated by Rob Craw is a picture book for children about gut health, and a fun fit for the medical category. Veronica of The Burgeoning Bookshelf wrote, “…entertaining prose making this complex topic easier for children, and adults, to understand.”

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Of The Other Side of Absence by Betty O’Neill, Denise of DeniseNewtonWrites says, “This memoir, like others I have read (such as Magda Szubanski’s Reckoning, or Esther Safran Foer’s I want you to know we’re still here), illuminate the present by examining the past. The Other Side of Absence is a beautifully written, engrossing and heartfelt addition to Australian memoir.”

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Laurel-Rain of CurlUpandRead gave five stars to Mary L. Trump’s portrait of her uncle, Donald Trump, in Too Much and Never Enough.

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“Anthony Ham’s The Last Lions of Africa is a fascinating and thought-provoking read about these majestic creatures in peril.“, writes Jo of BookloverBookReviews. She thinks it would make an excellent Father’s Day gift (which is tomorrow in Australia)

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Do any of these interest you? What will you be reading in September?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Review: Bush School by Peter O’Brien

 

Title: Bush School

Author: Peter O’Brien

Published: August 4th 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read August 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin

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My Thoughts:

In his engaging memoir, Bush School, Peter O’Brien recalls his two years as the teacher of a one-room school in Weabonga, a tiny farming village two days’ travel by train and mail cart from Armidale.

In 1960, aged just twenty years old with barely more than year of teaching experience, Peter was asked to fulfil his rural teaching service requirement and encouraged by the Education Department Inspector, after a false start in Guy Fawkes, to select one of NSW’s remote regions on the western lip of the Great Divide. After an uncomfortable journey, and a worrying introduction to his lodgings, Peter found himself welcoming eighteen students, ranging in age from five years to fifteen, to Weabonga School.

I could not imagine, as a new graduate with limited teaching experience, being placed in sole charge of a schoolhouse, far from everything familiar, with children of varying grades (an experience my mother shared in early 1970’s, but thankfully I escaped in early 1990’s). Peter’s experience may not be unique, but it’s seldom shared and a pi

The first-person narrative is an easy and accessible read, and though I did find the tone slightly formal, there is also a genuine sense of warmth. Peter writes of the challenges and triumphs of his new environment. Professionally he has concerns about his limited experience, his inability to consult with colleagues or a mentor, and the lack of available educational resources, but luckily his pupils prove enthusiastic, and his instinct for a child centered, or ‘open learning’, approach to teaching, serves him well. Personally Peter’s living situation, a spare, paper lined single bedroom in the home of a student where he took his meagre meals alone exacerbated his homesickness, and he was on the verge of giving notice until he received an alternate offer of accomodation. The separation from his sweetheart, who later become his wife, also weighed on his mind.

Bush School is a winsome, interesting and entertaining memoir. As a teacher, I found Peter’s explanation of his pedagogical development interesting, particularly since his theories closely mirror my own, which is why I prefer to work in early childhood education. As someone interested in social history I appreciated his effort to contextualise his experience, and that of his students, amid wider Australian societal events and issues. As a generally curious reader I enjoyed Peter’s affectionate reminisces of unfamiliar people and places.

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Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$29.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

Review: Reasonable Doubt by Xanthé Mallett

 

Title: Reasonable Doubt

Author: Xanthé Mallett

Published: July 28th 2020, Macmillan Australia

Status: Read August 2020, courtesy Pan Macmillan Australia

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My Thoughts:

In Reasonable Doubt forensic anthropologist and criminologist Xanthé Mallett examines the flaws in the Australian criminal justice system that have contributed to five wrongful murder convictions, and a shocking legal scandal whose repercussions will likely see the guilty go free.

Reasonable Doubt is not intended as an indictment of the system as a whole, Mallett’s focus is on the failures of law that lead to a wrongful conviction, irrespective of the innocence or guilt of the accused. She presents an intelligent and thoughtful study of its weaknesses, which range from poor police investigative processes, to unreliable evidence, to corruption, resulting in convictions that ostensibly contradict the intent of justice.

While I’ve always accepted miscarriages of justice happen, I was still shocked to learn just how badly things can go wrong, and how difficult it is to correct those mistakes. The case studies presented span the country, and involve alleged perpetrators from different socioeconomic backgrounds and races. I was only vaguely familiar with two of them but found each case fascinating.

Mallett’s research appears to be meticulous and impartial, based on her investigation of the facts available. She includes information from experts in their fields to explain relevant legal concepts or provide further forensic detail.

With its accessible narrative, and thought-provoking and fascinating subject, Reasonable Doubt is a must read for fans of the true crime genre, or anyone with interest in the Australian legal system.

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Available from Pan Macmillan Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #7

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge so far, and since sign-ups are open until December 1st, a few more may decide to join us during the year.

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange.

On the first Saturday of each month, I will be highlighting a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

 

JULY

 

 

In a single post at The Cue Card, Susan reviews three nonfiction books. The first is a short memoir, that she found so fascinating she listened to twice, A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman’s Harrowing Escape From the Nazis by Francoise Frenkel. The second is She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. The third, The Hidden Life of Owls: The Science and Spirit of Nature’s Most Elusive Birds by Leigh Calvez gave Susan a new appreciation for them.

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Jo at BookloverBookReviews recommends Joanna Cannon’s Breaking & Mending unreservedly. She writes, “The striking honesty and authenticity with which she interrogates her own thinking and responses to situations, and how that changed, during her journey from aspiring student of medicine to fully-fledged doctor, will move even the most hardened of souls. The tears rolled for me.”

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At Book’d Out I posted a review of The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands by Jon Billman this month. I counted it towards the Nature category though it could also work for True Crime. “With a well organised, well researched, and accessible narrative, Billman effectively communicates the facts, but also ensures the humanity of his subjects is never forgotten.”

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At Journey and Destination, Carol reviewed Queen Victoria by Lucy Worsley. She wrote, “This was a good introduction to the life of Queen Victoria and I liked the ‘twenty-four day’ approach as it helped to give an overview of her life in general. The author presents Queen Victoria as a complex person with faults and eccentricities but also as a person who was affectionate and sympathetic.”

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Maphead Book Blog has reviewed several nonfiction titles in the past month, but it’s of The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia that he calls, “…an outstanding book, and a must read for anyone wanting to understand Putin’s Russia.” He writes, “Not only will it make my 2020 list of favorite nonfiction it’s also one of the best books I’ve read this year.”

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Do any of these interest you? What will you be reading in August?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

 

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

Review: The Cold Vanish by Jon Billman

 

Title: The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands

Author: Jon Billman

Published: July 7th 2020, Grand Central Publishing

Status: Read July 2020 courtesy Grand Central Publishing/Netgalley

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My Thoughts:

 

“A person isn’t missing until they’re reported missing. Even then, if you’re over eighteen years old, going missing isn’t a crime or even an emergency.”

Conservative estimates put the number of missing persons whose last known location was somewhere in the wildlands of the United States at 1,600. I was astonished to learn that no one really keeps track of how many people have disappeared in the mountains, parks, forests, scrub or deserts across the country, and as such the real number is likely quite higher.

Some of the people reported missing may eventually found alive, perhaps disorientated, injured, or even living a new life elsewhere. Others may be recovered deceased days, weeks, months, even years after they disappeared, having met with some kind of misadventure. Some are never seen nor heard of again. Of particular interest to Billman are those cases where someone disappears under circumstances that suggest they should be easily found, like Jacob Gray, or conversely those that are found, alive or dead, after an improbable period or in unlikely locations, like Casey Hathaway.

Billman details a number of cases in The Cold Vanish, gathering information from relatives and/or friends, law enforcement officials, search and rescue personnel, and other interested parties. One of these is the case of Jacob Gray which the author repeatedly returns to throughout the narrative.

For seventeen months after Jacob Gray went missing in 2017, his red bicycle and hiking gear found by a river near the Olympic National Park in Washington, his father searched, traversing miles of river, trails, and streets both near and far from where he was last seen. Left in an agony of limbo, he was willing to consider every possible fate for his son from a mundane slip and fall, to abduction by a cult or a serial killer, to an encounter with a Bigfoot, if it meant he would find some answers. He followed up on every clue from vague sightings to psychic predictions.

Billman examines the factors that influence searches, not only delays in reporting but also, unsurprisingly, terrain and weather, as well as search personnel experience, bureaucracy, funding, and jurisdictional conflicts. The average official search period for a missing person in wild areas is five days, and the resources available vary widely between locations. Billman interviews expert trackers, search dog handlers, divers and advocates, and writes of his own participation in searches for the missing, accompanying both officials and volunteers.

With a well organised, well researched, and accessible narrative, Billman effectively communicates the facts, but also ensures the humanity of his subjects is never forgotten. I found The Cold Vanish to be both a fascinating and frightening read.

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Available from Grand Central Publishing

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound

Review: The First Time He Hit Her by Heidi Lemon

Title: The First Time He Hit Her: The shocking true story of the murder of Tara Costigan, the woman next door.

Author: Heidi Lemon

Published: June 30th 2020, Hachette Australia

Status: Read July 2020 courtesy Hachette Australia

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My Thoughts:

Twenty-eight-year-old Tara Costigan was one of 103 women who died violently as a result of family violence–related homicide* in Australia during 2015. The hardworking, loving, mother was holding her newborn daughter in her arms when her ex-partner swung an axe at her neck, her two young sons looking on in horror.

Author Heidi Lemon was shocked by the bare details of the murder reported in the news and made contact with Tara’s uncle, Michael Costigan, a few months later. She spent two and a half years writing The First Time He Hit Her in the hope of understanding the tragedy, and bringing awareness to the relationship between verbal abuse and intimate partner homicide.

“He’ll go ballistic,” [Tara] conceded, “but he won’t hurt me. He’s never hit me.”

Marcus Rappel had never posed a physical threat to Tara until that fateful day. In recent months Marcus had become paranoid, most likely due to anabolic steroid and Ice use, and grown increasingly emotionally and verbally abusive, berating her for hours over imagined infidelities and slights. Tara held on to the hope that the man she fell in love with would reappear until at eight months pregnant she could no longer endure Marcus’s behaviour and asked him to leave. Despite already being embroiled in a new relationship with an ex-girlfriend (the mother of his first child who was also now pregnant), Marcus continued to harass Tara. A few days after Tara gave birth to Ayla she successfully applied for a DVO, and on the day it was served Marcus used an axe to break down Tara’s front door.

During her own experience in a verbally abusive relationship, Lemon failed to recognise it as a form of domestic violence, because she never felt that she was physically at risk. She was shocked to learn during her research for this book that in an estimated quarter of cases of intimate partner homicide there had been no physical violence before the murder. It’s a startling find that contradicts our misconceptions about the danger emotional and verbal abusers pose to their victim.

“Control, then, is the link between all forms of abuse, including murder. The very same appetite for control lies beneath the invisible forms of violence and the single act of violence that will result in someone’s death.”

The First Time He Hit Her is a thought-provoking examination of domestic violence in Australia, a devastating tale of murder, and a moving portrait of a life taken too soon.

If you or someone you know (in Australia) has experienced any kind of abuse, sexual assault, domestic or family violence, please call 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) or visit their website to chat online.

If you’re concerned about your own behaviour and would like support or information (in Australia), please call MensLine on 1300 78 99 78 or visit their website.

* https://www.saferresource.org.au/the_evidence

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Available from Hachette Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #6

 

I’m delighted with the response to the inaugural Nonfiction Reader Challenge so far, and since sign-ups are open until December 1st, a few more may decide to join us during the year.

If you hadn’t yet noticed, I’ve created a permanent page for the challenge, you can CLICK HERE, or select the menu link at top left.

The Linky to add your review to can be found there. This new link will remain active for the rest for the year’s submissions. Look for the text in orange.

On the first Saturday of each month, I will be highlighting a handful of Linky submissions, but I encourage you to support all participants who have shared what they have been reading for the challenge. Give them a like, leave them a comment, share their posts on twitter, Facebook or instagram #2020ReadNonFic

JUNE

Of Fathoms: the world in the whale by Rebecca Giggs, TeresaSmithWrites says: “This is a remarkable book. The scope and sheer detail is so impressive…. highly readable and deeply thought provoking – there’s something in this one for everyone.”

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Jo of BookloverBookReviews describes the memoir MI5 and Me by Charlotte Bingham as, “… an entertaining reminder of fact often being stranger (and sillier) than fiction and the perils of taking ourselves too seriously.”

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For the disaster category, Carla of CarlaLovestoRead chose to read Malibu Burning: The Real Story Behind LA’s Most Devastating Wildfire by Robert Kerbeck. She says, “This book takes you into the hearts and minds of those who fought for their lives while the world watched Malibu Burning…. well written and worth a read if you are interested in fire fighting, Hollywood, climate-related disasters or just an informative and interesting non-fiction story.”

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Of Breaking Anxiety’s Grip: How to Reclaim the Peace God Promises by Dr. Michelle Bengston Barbara of StrayThoughts writes: “The coronavirus pandemic began just after I started this book, and the chapters I read then helped me immensely in the uncertainty and anxiety of that unprecedented situation.”

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Tina of Novel Meals read two books for the Nature category, Birding Without Borders by Noah Stryker and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien. She recommends the former for enthusiasts, of the latter she writes: “I loved this book, it was very informative, engaging and I cried near the end.”

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And congratulations to Denise of DeniseNewtonWrites who has successfully reached her goal of reading 6 nonfiction titles earning herself Nonfiction Nibbler status!

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Do any of these interest you? What will you be reading in July?

Click here to see what else other participants have been reading!

In case you missed it….

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #5

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #4

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #3

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #2

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge: Monthly Spotlight #1

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 1 #Memoir #DisasterEvent #Social Science #Related to An Occupation

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 2 #History #Feminism #Psychology #Social Science

2020 Nonfiction Reader Challenge Recommendations Part 3 #Nature #True Crime #Science #Published in 2020

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