This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial

Pantheon Oct. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780553387438. $27. CRIME
Did a distraught father murder his three sons by driving over an earthen dam, or did he black out during a coughing fit? That is the question Garner (Yellow Notebook) poses about a 2005 Australian case. The book portrays the father as divorced from his sons’ mother and bitter that she had moved on. But there is no doubt that he loved his sons, according to witnesses. This title is structured chronologically, from the crime scene to the first trial and conviction, reversal on appeal, and conviction on retrial. The father offers expert testimony on his medical condition that he could have blacked out, but physical evidence belies claims of an accident. The police ask his best friend to wear a wire to extract a confession. The author does a good job of depicting the personae, but she also gives her editorial comments throughout, a trend found in true-crime podcasts. VERDICT The book is well written, but there is no doubt whom the author believes at the end. True-crime readers seeking the author’s
VERDICT will enjoy this book.
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