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Three Crooked Kings : Terry Lewis, the Rat Pack and the True Story of Crime and Corruption in Queensland - Matthew Condon

Three Crooked Kings

Terry Lewis, the Rat Pack and the True Story of Crime and Corruption in Queensland

Paperback

Published: 26th February 2013
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Published: 1st April 2013
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The first of two explosive investigative books – Underbelly meets the narrative storytelling of Chloe Hooper and Helen Garner

In 1949, a young Terence Murray Lewis graduated from the police academy, ready to start his career in law enforcement. Over the next four decades, he rose to the pinnacle of power as the knighted Commissioner of Police in Queensland before his spectacular downfall and imprisonment after the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.

Three Crooked Kings follows Lewis’ journey through the ranks, as he becomes part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glenn Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The alleged suicide of prostitute and brothel madam Shirley Brifman in the early 1970s provides the turning point for a culture that reigned unchecked for several decades. It was part of a grand narrative teeming with murder, pay-offs, political machinations, drug heists, assisted suicides, police in-fighting and a complicated system of corruption that ultimately collapsed under its own weight.

Based on unprecedented interviews with Terry Lewis and access to his personal papers, Three Crooked Kings is the missing piece in the puzzle of the story of Queensland’s endemic generational corruption. It is a searing story of greed, crime and corruption. Awarded journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account of an era that changed Queensland society; an impact that reverberates across the country to this day.

About the Author

Matthew Condon was born in Brisbane in 1962 and has lived in the UK, Germany and France. He is the author of several novels and short story collections, including The Motorcycle Cafe, A Night at the Pink Poodle, The Pillow Fight and Lime Bar. He is also the recipient of two Steel Rudd awards for short fiction.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Three Crooked Kings
 
4.0

(based on 9 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (7)
  • Relevant (6)
  • Well written (6)
  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Deserves multiple readings (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older readers (4)
    • Reference (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Bookworm (4), Everyday reader (3)

    Reviewed by 9 customers

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    4.0

    Don't judge a book by its cover

    By Chooks

    from Toowoomba, Queensland. Australia.

    About Me Casual Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Relevant
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Older Readers
      • Reference

      Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

      Get me as copy of The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran written in ARABIC, and I'll dance on my hands for you.

      Comment on this review

       
      4.0

      Very riviting book

      By Chris

      from Perth

      About Me Everyday Reader

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

          This book is very educational in that it is queensland history. Very well written.

          Comment on this review

           
          5.0

          A Must Read

          By Cyber

          from Canberra

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Understand
          • Informative
          • Relevant
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • People For The Truth

            Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

            Tis book was a gift for my brother who devoured it. He had read a review and was so keen to read this book and find out more.

            He cannot wait for the follow up to be published.

            Comment on this review

             
            4.0

            dishonest police

            By Nona

            from Toowoomba

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers

              Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

              delivery pompt.
              Horrified that we didn't know of such corruption at the time.

              Comment on this review

               
              4.0

              Shows Queensland is not perfect

              By Wally the wascal

              from Macksville NSW

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Understand
              • Informative
              • Relevant
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Reference
                • Younger Readers

                Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                This book is well researched and written and shows how corruption in high places can happen and does. With good investigative journalism these corrupt people will always be exposed. This book shows how it starts and how they were brought undone.

                Comment on this review

                 
                3.0

                No minor detail left unexplored

                By PM

                from Buderim, Queensland

                About Me Everyday Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Informative
                • Relevant

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Readers From That Period

                  Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                  An interesting read, but sometimes got bogged down in too many minor factual details for me. A book that anyone from this period of time in Queensland modern history should find interesting, but may lack a little for those not familiar with the names of the players and landmarks- mostly hotels, nightclubs and brothels, refered to throughout.
                  For me, just a little too young to have been around for all but the last few years that the book relates to (up until the appointment of Lewis as Police commisioner), it read a little too much like a newspaper story- not surprising as the author is a well respected Queensland journalist. However, in saying that, I now look forward to the follow up book, which continues on through the mid to late seventies and eighties, the time when I was growing up in Brisbane and becoming familiar with the unique political landscape of this State, devouring the pages of the Courier Mail daily throughout the Fitzgerald Enquiry, secretly hoping to recognise the names of any of the bit players. I have the the hope that it will transport me back to those times of my life, that despite the corruption,fear, sometimes brutality, and poor Governance, everything in my home State seemed more innocent and full of hope than it is now.

                  Comment on this review

                   
                  4.0

                  Queensland underbelly

                  By Filthy coppers

                  from Brisbane, AU

                  About Me Bookworm

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Deserves Multiple Readings
                  • Easy To Understand
                  • Informative
                  • Relevant
                  • Well Written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Gift
                    • Older Readers
                    • Reference

                    Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                    The sections are short making them convenient bedtime reading. This the first of a two volume set. I would have preferred a single volume shorter than the sum of the two volumes will be.

                    Comment on this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Waiting for book 2!

                    By Crebra

                    from Brisbane

                    About Me Bookworm

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Understand
                    • Informative
                    • Relevant
                    • Well Written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                        Well researched characters in the book. An excellent record of policing in the time period

                        Comment on this review

                         
                        3.0

                        Corrupt Queensland

                        By Lawman

                        from Nambour

                        About Me Casual Reader

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Deserves Multiple Readings
                        • Informative

                        Cons

                        • Difficult To Follow

                        Best Uses

                        • Older Readers

                        Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                        A good historic read

                        Comment on this review

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                        ISBN: 9780702238918
                        ISBN-10: 0702238910
                        Audience: General
                        Format: Paperback
                        Language: English
                        Number Of Pages: 352
                        Published: 26th February 2013
                        Publisher: University of Queensland Press
                        Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 16.0  x 2.7
                        Weight (kg): 23.0