Helen Garner has written a deeply personal account of a true story about a death and a legal case that captivated the Australian public in the late nineties. Balancing fraught objectivity and a deeply emotional story she tells it against the backdrop of her own life in turmoil. None of those tensions are allowed to dominate or get in the way of her at times journalistic style. Judgement and the possibility of injustice is left up to the reader.
Having not been that involved in Australian affairs myself (even though I have lived here) I was stunned by the moral and legal divide. Yet it is clear to me that within that conflict - and the Joe Cinque case covers a complex set of events - human suffering can never be fully assuaged.
This in an easy (quick) read that would suit a train/plane trip but in my opinion the sordid aspects of the tale might ruin a pleasant day at the beach.