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The Gavin Johns Story : A Belle Beamish Investigation - Jeff Hopkins

The Gavin Johns Story

A Belle Beamish Investigation

By: Jeff Hopkins

Paperback | 17 March 2021

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Paperback


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Gavin Maxwell Johns was born in Georgia, in the United States, orphaned in Hertfordshire in England and sent to the Fairbridge Farm School in Pinjarra, Western Australia as a child migrant in 1935. At Fairbridge, he meets his aggressive and undisciplined friend, Luke Fitzgerald and finds the only place he can control Luke is in the milking shed.

In 1942, the United States army requisition Guildford Grammar School buildings as a Military Hospital and the staff and boys are evacuated to live in cottages at the Fairbridge Farm School for a period of nearly two years. An incongruous juxtaposition of boys from different backgrounds, socio-economic status and with contrasting views of the world, leads to inevitable conflict. Alexander Grayson Erickson, a dairy farmer's son from Cowaramup in his fourth year as a boarder at Guildford Grammar School, gets caught up in all of this.

When George Brander's dead body is found in a derelict shearing shed, Constables Belle Beamish and Pat Molineux from Pinjarra Police Station are given the task of investigating. Their inquires lead to a litany of lies, deceptive dead ends and a chief suspect who has absconded from Fairbridge Farm School and cannot be traced.

George Brander's murder investigation is archived, and it is not until 1971 that it is reopened, when now Detective Inspector Belle Beamish and Detective Sergeant Pat Molineux are reunited at the Perth Criminal Investigation Branch. They still face the old problem of a missing chief suspect, but the investigation has been complicated by the events that have unfolded over the past three decades. Just when Belle Beamish thinks she has cracked the cold case everything is turned on its head, and her theories are seriously disrupted.

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