What would you do if your son was jailed for life in a hellhole of a Bulgarian prison for a crime he didn't commit? This is the harrowing story of one father's fight to prove his son's innocence.
What would you do if your son was jailed for life in a hellhole of a Bulgarian prison for a crime you believe he didn't commit?
In 2009, young Australian traveller Jock Palfreeman was found guilty of the murder of Andrei Monov, the only son of two people well connected in the Sofia legal fraternity. He claims he went to the defence of gypsies being attacked by Monov and a bunch of soccer hooligans. The Bulgarians claim it was an act of cold-blooded murder.
In a case of many twist and turns, where vital evidence was kept out of court and crucial witnesses never called, Belinda Hawkins brings to life the legal battle that haunted two shattered families on opposite sides of the globe. She also reminds us of the dangers we all confront when travelling to worlds very different to our own. But it is the attempts by Jock's father, Simon Palfreeman, to obtain justice for his son and the terrifying emotional cost involved that are at the heart of Every Parent's Nightmare.
This is the harrowing story of what happens when worlds collide. It is also the powerful and heartbreaking story of one father's fight to prove his son's innocence.
About the Author
Belinda Hawkins is a multiple award-winning senior journalist on ABC TV's Australian Story. This is her first book.
Every Parent’s Nightmare by Belinda Hawkins: A Review from Andrew Cattanach
The story of Jock Palfreeman has captivated Australia. Booktopia’s Andrew Cattanach took a look at award-winning journalist Belinda Hawkins’ account of the harrowing story of a young Australian jailed for murder.
Wrong place, wrong time.
Some phrases are uttered so often in our daily lives that they lose their punch, struggling to convey the real horror behind them.
Sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and be late for work.
Sometimes you can be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and get trapped in an awkward conversation.
Jock Palfreeman was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now he’s in a Bulgarian prison cell for murder.
In 2009, Jock Palfreeman was found guilty of the murder of Andrei Monov, the only son of two people well connected in the Sofia legal fraternity. He claims he went to the defence of gypsies being attacked by Monov and a bunch of soccer hooligans. The Bulgarians claim it was an act of cold-blooded murder.
The first thing that struck me about Belinda Hawkins’ first book Every Parent’s Nightmare was how meticulous it was. So many true crime books can skip merrily over important details in the hope of swaying you towards their side of the argument, but Every Parent’s Nightmare lays everything on the table. It’s a riveting journey of right and wrong, perception and truth. One senses Hawkins is only too aware that the event itself is the selling point, intelligently leaving sensationalism at the door and, refreshingly, editorialising to a minimum.
Her own part to play in the Jock Palfreeman saga is as the eye of the storm. Acutely aware of the emotions swirling around her but able to articulate the key moments over the days and months of this harrowing story.
Another engaging element was that, despite the detail of the investigation, Every Parent’s Nightmare retains a near noir quality. It’s an absolute page-turner. It was only after I learnt more about the author that I discovered, and it now comes as no surprise, that while Hawkins has been a Walkley-Award winning journalist for over 30 years, she also has a Master of Arts in English Literature. Her understanding of the subtleties of a deeply human story is wonderful.
The most frightening aspect of Jock Palfreeman’s story is that he seems like the kind of young man I always wanted to be. Free-spirited, gregarious and passionate about eradicating injustice. Always standing up to bullies, whether it be on the behalf of friends or strangers. And despite all these qualities, he finds himself on the wrong side of the bars. It’s a story I always wanted to know more about, and now I do. And if you were like me, grab a copy, and know more.