Crime Time, by Sue Bursztynski

This is Crime Time, so get ready to discover Australia’s very own gallery of rogues – an Aussie litany of heinous crimes, dastardly deeds and terrifying tales…
The human race is extraordinarily divers ein its interests. Some people are captivated by shoes and clothes, some engrossed with football or cricket or snowboarding, some would never be parted from their music players and some cannot turn off their mobiles although their texting thumbs are weak with overuse. Yet everyone – whether it be reluctantly or eagerly – is fascinated by wicked misdeeds and illegal acts.

Australians are often keen to claim convicts for ancestors, no matter how tenuous the link, but here is a collection of characters we might not be so keen to claim. From the earliest white visitors there have been those who choose not to follow, or sometimes stray from the path. Crime Time presents Australians, some infamous, some famous, some obscure, but all criminals. Their stories vary from the foolish to the macabre, from the accidental to the truly evil. No sector of the community is overlooked: there are wealthy, poor, young and old villains boy men and women. Many entries include sketches of the character described.

Crime Time is organised chronologically, beginning with a persuasive sailor in 1629, and finishing up with cases still fresh in the public memory. There is an introduction from Kerry Greenwood, a contents page, and a detailed index to the characters mentioned. Entries are relatively short, three-four pages, with info boxes providing snippets on some of our less salubrious citizens. Sue Bursztynski has presented information in an almost conversational and sometimes humourous style, easily accessible to readers. There is plenty of gory detail, but it’s not so graphic as to cause nightmares. For the budding criminologist keen to learn more, the bibliography provides books and website details. From poisoning grannies, to bumbling burglars, this is an extensive rogues gallery. Recommended for upper-primary boys and beyond.

Crime Time: Australians Behaving Badly

Crime Time – Australians Behaving Badly, Sue Bursztynski
Ford St Publishing 2009
ISBN: 9781876462765

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