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WARNINGS: Murder, the rationalisation of murder.

The slaughter was extravagant and bloody. And yet there were people in the small town of Wedderburn in Central Victoria who, while they did not exactly rejoice, quietly thought that Ian Jamieson had done them all a favour.’

One fine Wednesday evening in October 2014, 65-year-old Ian Jamieson secured a hunting knife in a sheath to his belt and climbed through the wire fence separating his property from that of his much younger neighbour Greg Holmes. Less than 30 minutes later, Holmes was dead, stabbed more than 25 times. Jamieson returned home and took two shotguns from his gun safe. He walked across the road and shot Holmes’ mother, Mary Lockhart, and her husband, Peter, multiple times before calling the police.

In this compelling book, Maryrose Cuskelly gets to the core of this small Australian town and the people within it. Much like the successful podcast S-Town, things aren’t always as they seem: Wedderburn begins with an outwardly simple murder but expands to probe the dark secrets that fester within small towns, asking: is murder something that lives next door to us all?

What I liked
-the story
-the approach the writer took when investigating
-the lack of judgement

What I disliked
-the bland writing
-the fact that it was Aussie orientated, others not from Australia picking this up could be confused by the language

Wedderburn is a non fiction book that recounts the story of the author investigating the murders of Greg Holmes, and Mary & Peter Lockheart. The author, Maryrose Cuskelly arrived to begin investigations early into the proceedings against the accused, Ian Jamieson.

This novel follows the procedures as Maryrose watches from the sidelines. She sees at first, a man who was pushed to his limit, a man she pities and wishes to understand and help. By by the end, she finds her pity is given to the other side.

I really enjoyed her approach to writing this book. maryrose interviewed many people from he small town, on both sides equally. She respected that one interviewee did not want to be named, and did appears to have done her best to not provoke wounds.

However even as a student of non fiction writing, I did find this one a touch bland. There was nothing exciting about it, just scenrences recounting events. While most people don’t go into non fiction books for entertainment, it is possible to weave in some poetics to it without hindering understanding or the truths you are trying to say.

Another issue with the way this was written is that it was obviously written for a Australian market. This is filled with Aussie slang that even as a kiwi, I had some difficulties understanding. While any Australian could probably read and comprehend this easily, it does cut out others.

Overall this was a decent recount of a true crime. I found myself wanting to continue just to find out what Jamieson was scentenced with.
I would recommend this to people specifically interested in this event

Until next time,

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