Lawyer X

HarperCollins. Nov. 2021. 400p. ISBN 9781460758069. pap. $18.99. LAW
Dowsley and Carlyon, journalists for Melbourne’s Herald Sun, detail their decade-long investigation into Nicola Gobbo, a promising Australian defense barrister from a prominent family who found herself at the center of one of largest police corruption scandals in the country’s history. The book follows Gobbo from law school to her rise as a defense lawyer who represented members of organized crime. But she was living a double life as a police informant and betraying countless clients. Dowsley and Carlyon offer a vivid portrait of Gobbo, who had grown to become a minor celebrity in Melbourne prior to her unmasking as an informant; her social life and extravagant homes and automobiles were constant fodder for the gossip columns. Although Gobbo is at the center of this narrative, the authors also offer a detailed history of the figures involved in the Melbourne gang war and Gobbo’s complicated relationship with them and the police. Despite their penchant for forcing ill-fitting pop-culture references into the book, Dowsley and Carlyon offer a solid recounting of this bizarre tale of corruption and perfidy.
VERDICT An excellent account of one of the largest police scandals in Australian history, from the seasoned journalists who exposed it.
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