August online ebook club – Three crooked Kings by Matthew Condon

This month we’re Three crooked kingslooking at a slightly different type of book for the online ebook club – non-fiction, or more specifically, true crime. Three Crooked Kings tells the story of Queensland’s jaded past. It follows the events which lead to the 1987 Fitzgerald Inquiry, in which a system of endemic corruption in both the police force and government was exposed. As the centre of this corruption was Commissioner of Queensland Police Terry Lewis. Following the Inquiry, Lewis was imprisoned and stripped of his knighthood.

Condon uses interviews with Lewis and access to his personal papers to unravel the extent of the corruption which at times led to murder, pay-offs, assisted suicides and police infighting. This is the first of two books covering the events leading up to 1976, when Lewis was appointed Police Commissioner. The second book, Jacks and Jokers, follows the events leading up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry.

Here are some questions to help get the discussion started:

1. How much did you know of the Fitzgerald Inquiry before reading the book? Do you think Condon captures this well?

2. Do you think Condon held a particular bias toward any of the key players in this story or was he relatively even-handed?

3. Did you find any questions that were left unanswered in the book?

4. Has this book changed your knowledge or perspective of that era?

5. Are you compelled to read the second book? Why or why not?

You can download the book today from Overdrive.