Review: City of Evil by Sean Fewster

Adelaide has long held the reputation of being the murder capital of Australia. And while this reputation may largely be based on urban myths, what is true of Adelaide is that it is home to some of the most unusual crimes that the nation (and perhaps the world,) has ever seen. It's also home to so many secrets and suppression orders, often to the point of ridiculousness. In fact, there is barely a person living in South Australia who knows of the true and less than savoury reason that the states founder, Edward Gibbon Wakefield was in jail in the first place. 

In City of Evil Adelaide based court reporter Sean Fewster documents some of the strangest crimes that have occurred in contemporary Adelaide and South Australia--from the gruesome slaughter of a transgender truck driver whose partial remains were found in a strawberry patch (and it's strange connection to another ghastly and unrelated crime,) to various crimes with unusual motives. There is an animal welfare case with some very odd motives, a grisly murder in which a hat one of the perpetrators wore to court led to a conviction, to the trial of a young man who foolishly shot a man his friend mistakenly thought was following her--and to the small town mentality that he would fall victim to well after he had paid his debt to society. What links all of these crimes isn't just the place where they occurred. All of them have some kind of truly unusual--or perhaps even bizarre--element to them.   

City of Evil makes for extremely compelling reading, though the subject matter is quite dark. Some of the crimes are so strange, and so twisted, that it had me second guessing everything I knew about my home city. With so many weird crimes was it possible that I was living in the same neighbourhood, or even the same street, as the next person who would be arrested for a strange or gruesome crime?

In any case, this book busts the myth of Adelaide being the murder capital of Australia and exposes the reality of the many strange crimes that have occurred here.

This one is best read slowly--one crime or chapter per day, so that each real life story can have maximum impact, without becoming too overwhelming. And if you're really intrigued, there is a television series of the same name which aired on Channel 9 last year

Highly recommended. 

Thanks to Sean Fewster for my copy of City of Evil.

This book was read as part of the Aussie Author Challenge 2019


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