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Three Crooked Kings :  Book 1 - Matthew Condon

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Published: 26th February 2013
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'It was the genius of the system . . . From day to day you didn't know who was on the take or not. You didn't know who you could trust.'

Three Crooked Kings is the shocking true story of Queensland and how a society was shaped by almost half a century of corruption. At its core is Terence Murray Lewis, deposed and jailed former police commissioner. From his entry into the force in 1949, Lewis rose through the ranks, becoming part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glendon Patrick Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof.

The next four decades make for a searing tale of cops and killings, bagmen and blackmail, and sin and sleaze that exposes a police underworld which operated from Queensland and into New South Wales. This gripping book exposes the final pieces of the puzzle, unearths new evidence on cold cases, and explores the pivotal role that whistleblower Shirley Brifman, prostitute and brothel owner, played until her sudden death.

Based on extensive and unprecedented access to Terry Lewis and his personal papers, as well as hundreds of interviews with key players and conspirators, Three Crooked Kings is the first of two explosive books. Awarded journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account of an era that changed a state and is still reverberating to this day.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Three Crooked Kings
 
4.1

(based on 17 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Informative (14)
  • Well written (12)
  • Relevant (10)
  • Easy to understand (9)
  • Deserves multiple readings (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Older readers (9)
  • Reference (6)
  • Gift (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Bookworm (8), Everyday reader (5), Casual reader (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

True story well told

I borrowed this book from the library. It was so good I just had to have my own copy. I am looking forward to my next holiday. I will take it with me...Read complete review

I borrowed this book from the library. It was so good I just had to have my own copy. I am looking forward to my next holiday. I will take it with me and read and savour it again. The book is stored in my book shelf along with my other prized books.

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 17 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

This book is eye opening and riveting in its truths

By 

from WA

About Me Bookworm

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Understand
  • Informative
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Older Readers
    • Reference

    Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

    Good read especially to those who were adults living in and around locations in the book

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    4.0

    I cant wait to read the second book.

    By 

    from Brisbane

    About Me Everyday Reader

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Informative

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

        Great service

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        5.0

        Fantastic

        By 

        from Brisbane

        About Me Bookworm

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings
        • Informative
        • Relevant
        • Well Written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Gift

          Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

          My mum loved this book

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          5.0

          True story well told

          By 

          from Canberra

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

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

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Gift
            • Older Readers

            Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

            I borrowed this book from the library. It was so good I just had to have my own copy. I am looking forward to my next holiday. I will take it with me and read and savour it again. The book is stored in my book shelf along with my other prized books.

            Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

             
            5.0

            Factually acurate and easy reading, very well written.

            By 

            from Brisbane AU

            About Me Casual Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Understand
            • Informative
            • Relevant
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Older Readers
              • Reference

              Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

              Your service is excellent. I was around at the time and knew some of the characters involved. Queensland was not a pleasant place then.

              Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Simply Superb

              By 

              from Brisbane, AU

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Deserves Multiple Readings
              • Informative
              • Relevant
              • Well Written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Older Readers

                Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                The book was simply superb & just couldn't put it down. After finishing it I gave it to my father who is only a casual reader & he too was totally enthralled.

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                5.0

                Three Crooked Kings

                By 

                from West Queensland

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Deserves Multiple Readings
                • Easy To Understand
                • I Could Read This Book Ma
                • Informative
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Older Readers
                  • Reference

                  Comments about Three Crooked Kings:

                  I could read this book over many times and find some thing new each time. So well written and so true exactly to the point.
                  Waiting for the third episode

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                  1.0

                  boring

                  By 

                  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

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                      4.0

                      Don't judge a book by its cover

                      By 

                      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.

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                        4.0

                        Very riviting book

                        By 

                        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.

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                            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


                            ISBN: 9780702238918
                            ISBN-10: 0702238910
                            Audience: General
                            Format: Paperback
                            Language: English
                            Number Of Pages: 352
                            Published: 26th February 2013
                            Publisher: University of Queensland Press
                            Country of Publication: AU
                            Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.4  x 2.5
                            Weight (kg): 22.8
                            Edition Number: 1