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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
 
3.7

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

90%

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 (5), Everyday reader (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Shows Queensland is not perfect

    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...Read complete review

    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.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    No minor detail left unexplored

    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...Read complete review

    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.

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    1.0

    boring

    By stan

    from gods own

    About Me Bookworm

    Pros

    • Good Fire Lighter

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

        this was a most tedious book to read. light on good hard facts.yawn factor was very high.i do regret parting with good money to buy this rubbish and vol 2

        Comment on this review

         
        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

                            Displaying reviews 1-10

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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

                            Matthew Condon

                            Journalist and writer, Matthew Condon was born in Brisbane and has lived in the UK, Germany and France. His first book, The Motorcycle Cafe , was widely reviewed and praised. Usher and The Ancient Guild of Tycoons were both shortlisted for the NBC Banjo Award for Fiction. A Night at the Pink Poodle and The Lulu Magnet won back-to-back Steele Rudd Awards for Short Fiction. His bestseller , The Trout Opera was shortlisted for the Qld Premier's Prize for Fiction.

                            Visit Matthew Condon's Booktopia Author Page