09 July 2019

Review: Unsolved Australia - Lost Boys, Gone Girls by Justine Ford

Unsolved Australia - Lost Boys, Gone Girls by Justine Ford book cover
* Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan *

Justine Ford is a big name when it comes to true crime in Australia. She's a journalist and author of five books. One of these is The Good Cop - The True Story of Ron Iddles, Australia's Greatest Detective which was adapted into a series for the Foxtel channel and for which Ford was the Executive Producer. I absolutely loved the series and my respect for Police Detective Ron Iddles, OAM (retired) is unending.

This is my first foray into Justine's written work though and I enjoyed reading Unsolved Australia - Lost Boys, Gone Girls. Justine covers cold case missing persons and unsolved murders in Australia all the while encouraging the reader to help find a missing person or catch a killer. I knew about 2 of the 13 true crime cases included, those being the outback mystery of what happened to Paddy Moriarty and missing Army Officer Sean Sargent.

Justine's experience on Australia's Most Wanted is evidenced in her approach to this work. This collection of true crime cases encourages members of the public to come forward and help Police solve the cases and bring justice and some measure of comfort to the families.

Generous rewards are now on offer and both Justine Ford and Ron Iddles firmly believe the answer is out there and that someone always knows something. With the passage of time, relationships and allegiances change, which may result in a person with information coming forward to claim the reward in return for critical information about the case.

In addition to the true crime cases mentioned, Justine has also included six profiles throughout the book focussing on people dedicating their lives to investigating and solving crime in a variety of vocations. Readers will recognise Rachael Brown, the journalist behind the highly successful podcast Trace and will enjoy hearing from a forensic anthropologist and criminologist, a criminal psychologist and more.

Presented with a stunning cover with jigsaw piece design and embossing on some of the pieces to emphasize the nature of finding missing pieces of information in order to solve a crime, I do wish the publisher had invested more on the overall production of the book. There are many photos throughout the book and they're all in black and white. And we're not talking glossy black and white paper either. They're included on the regular print paper.

Black and white images and designs are also used to differentiate the profiles from the main body of the text, however it gave me the overall impression I was reading a newspaper. Given the author's desire for the reader to pay close attention to the cases on the off chance they can offer critical information, I'd have thought colour photographs would be essential.

Justine Ford is determined to help solve cold cases in Australia and I applaud her efforts to ensure the victims and their families aren't forgotten. Unsolved Australia - Lost Boys, Gone Girls by Justine Ford is recommended reading for true crime and history enthusiasts.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

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