From decorated policeman to convicted criminal: Duncan McNab’s revealing account of Roger Rogerson.

by |December 9, 2016


To celebrate 5 years of eBooks at Booktopia, we’re giving you the chance to win an iPad Mini!

Simply order any eBook from the Hachette Biography Showcase by December 9, 2016 and you’ll automatically go into the draw to win! One eBook that can be purchased is Duncan McNab’s Roger Rogerson, a gripping and graphic true account of Sydney’s underbelly.

Duncan McNab is a former police detective, private investigator, investigative journalist and media adviser to government and the private sector. Below, he answers the Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questions.

Duncan McNab’s Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Born, raised and schooled on Sydney’s northern beaches where my genes ensured there was no chance of a tan. After toying with a job for life in the public service, and booted out of university a few times for a demonstrable lack of enthusiasm for a law or arts degree, I joined the NSW Police – adventure, a place where my curiosity could be put to good use, and it seemed like a good idea at the time.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

At 12 – no idea. At 18 the same, but I soon found I didn’t want to be a lawyer or a music teacher (lack of musical talent was an impediment). At 30, anything but a police officer, but the media and travel was looking very tempting. A few million words, a few million miles and plenty of fascinating experiences later, I think my choices at 30 were pretty sound!

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That I would live fast and die young – I got the last part very wrong!

4. What were three big events – in the family circle or on the world stage or in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

An early start reading crime fiction and having Agatha Christie’s output nailed before I hit double figures. In 1984, amid my deepening gloom that as a detective I was part of a police force (NSW) that was deeply corrupt and morally bankrupt – and where good honest coppers were thwarted by a core of crooks, charlatans and political operators – I saw a dying deposition from a fellow detective implicating Roger Rogerson in an attempt on his life. It was time to go! Finally, meeting my agent Lyn Tranter and selling my first book back in 2004.


5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book?  

A book is the only medium – and I’ve worked in print and TV – that gives a writer the opportunity to tell a story rich in detail and context. And it’s also the only medium where you can have an adventure (at least in your mind) every day until the final full stop is in place.

6. Please tell us about your latest book

It’s called Roger Rogerson and is the story of three men who met in a bland storage unit in suburban Sydney to do a major drug deal. One was 20 year old Jamie Gao, a uni student and a young man who wanted to give up his studies and become ‘a gangster’. He went to meet with two older men at the storage unit and reckoned the event would ‘change his life.’ Glen McNamara was one of the men – a former NSW detective who’d crafted an image of being a crusader against drugs and corruption – and had written two books telling this story – but his truth was very different.

The other man was Roger Rogerson, Australia’s most notorious ex-detective, once the pin-up boy of policing, who’d had a second career as a consultant to criminals. The book tells the story of the three men, and Rogerson’s long and deep involvement in crime across Australia, in particular with drugs from heroin to ice.

To that bland storage space Gao brought 3 kilograms of ice and expected the two former detectives to bring cash to buy it. Instead they only brought a gun, and Jamie died in that room. It was a cold-blooded execution for profit. What followed was one of the most turbulent and intriguing criminal trials in Australian history, where the jury saw much of the crime – all recorded on hours of CCTV.

Roger Rogerson (L) and Glen McNamara (R)

Roger Rogerson (L) and Glen McNamara (R)

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

Removing sauvignon blanc as the only white wine served at many of the functions I’ve been to. There is a long list of other things!

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

No single person – and if I did start on a list it wouldn’t include any politicians or religious leaders!

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

When writing, 10K words each week, with the prospect of keeping at it until I keel over.

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Research, context, don’t take yourself too seriously, discipline, brevity and avoid martinis before 7pm.

Thank you for playing, Duncan!


Don’t forget, download Roger Rogerson, or any eBook from the Hachette Biography Showcase by 9 December, 2016 and you’ll go into the draw to win an iPad Mini! Or, order the print book before December 16, 2016, for your chance to win $1000 worth of books!

Roger Rogersonby Duncan McNab

Roger Rogerson

by Duncan McNab

The gripping and graphic true story of Sydney's underbelly.

The verdict is guilty.

As soon as legally possible, Hachette Australia will publish a gripping account of former New South Wales police officer, Roger Rogerson, who, along with another former police officer, Glen McNamara, has been found guilty of the cold blooded murder of 20-year-old Jamie Gao, and the supply of 2.78 kg of ice (methamphetamine). This eye-opening account will include behind-the-scenes stories - many never told before - of both the trial and its outcome, and the events leading up to it. Only now, with the court's verdict of murder, can many stories of Roger Rogerson be told.

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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.


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