Can you catch a killer or find a missing person?
Australia is ‘the lucky country’. But not for everyone. Unsolved Australia: Lost Boys, Gone Girls tells thirteen stories of people whose luck ran out in the most mysterious of circumstances.
It’s a journalistic deep-dive into Australia’s dark heart by one of Australia’s premier true crime writers, Justine Ford, the acclaimed bestselling author of Unsolved Australia and The Good Cop.
Why are four people missing from a Western Australian doomsday cult? Who abducted and murdered beauty queen Bronwynne Richardson on pageant night? And why is a cooked chook important evidence in the outback disappearance of Paddy Moriarty?
Key players are interviewed, evidence laid out and suspects assessed. Never-before-published information is revealed. Can you help crack the case and solve these mysteries?
Hold tight as Unsolved Australia: Lost Boys, Gone Girls takes you on a chilling yet inspiring true crime rollercoaster ride where the final destination is hope.
Unsolved Australia: Lost Boys, Gone Girls is a fascinating record of 13 Australians who have gone missing and have never been found, written by well-known Australian crime writer Justine Ford.
Each section of the book focuses on a different missing person, detailing their life and the final days that anyone saw them alive. If there have been any updates on the case in recent decades, Justine has included that. This book is very comprehensive, very detailed, and incredibly researched.
Additionally, the book features interviews with six key crime personnel, such as former police detectives, investigative journalists, private investigators, and criminologists. These interviews are fascinating, reading about their career trajectories, their experiences, and what they remember most about cold cases from their careers.
“When cops are described as ‘dogged’ it means they are the kinds of police who go the extra mile to crack a case. They are the investigators who spend sleepless nights wondering, Is there something I missed? They are the cops who struggle to accept it when they cannot find the answers.”
The book is a plea to the readers, asking them to read the stories and provide help with any clues or information they may see that has been missed. There are people out there who know what happened to these thirteen individuals — reading these stories may jog someone’s memory.
Generous rewards are on offer for anyone that can help with each case. Although, quite a few of these missing persons disappeared decades ago, so I understand it’d be very unlikely someone will read this and remember anything useful to police.
“What was unusual — for them, at least — was the strange entity they saw bobbing in the water on the starboard side of their boat. It must be an animal, they thought, maybe a dog…The men looked once, they looked twice, and then agreed: it was a human body.”
Justine’s tone is appropriate for the subject matter — she’s compassionate and caring, and you can tell she genuinely wants to find out what happened to these missing persons. She also does well to present all of the relevant information to the reader in a succinct, clear manner.
“For half an hour the police boat judders across the swell until what looks like a dot on the horizon — a farmhouse — comes into sight. It’s lonely out here and the ocean surrounding the property ahead is hundreds, if not thousands, of metres deep.”
At almost 300 pages, I grew emotionally exhausted by the end of the story. There are no solutions or answers to these cold cases. Reading about thirteen people who disappeared in strange circumstances and have never been seen again was mentally draining towards the end.
I’d recommend readers pace themselves with this book. Each section of the book is an appropriate length — long enough to include all the facts, information, and updates on the case, but not too long where you feel your attention waning.
Recommended for true crime lovers.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Unsolved Australia: Lost Boys, Gone Girls
Pan Macmillan Publishers