I like good “true crime” books, but I was a little under-whelmed by “Underbelly – Where the Bodies are Buried” (John Silvester and Andrew Rule). On the plus side, some of the stories are fascinating, and in particular I found the chapters about Carl Williams and Paul Dale very interesting, as most of us have a general awareness of these men, but how they actually fitted into the jigsaw isn’t always top-of-mind for many of us. There are lots of anecdotes, with many of the major crimes (solved and unsolved) and criminals over the last 30 years or so being mentioned somewhere, along with a few of the detectives who were involved. “Chopper” Read, a number of bikie gangs, Denis Tanner and many others are mentioned. In short, the amount of ground covered in the book is extensive and makes Melbourne sound like a hotbed of crime (perhaps at some stages, it has been?)
I gather that the stories in this book and in those of its companions have been used in the Underbelly TV series.
Just the same, on the whole, the writing isn’t great and there are some obvious proof-reading errors. At times things are repetitive and the sequence is hard to follow. The authors are experienced crime reporters (and have written other books in this series), but the lack of a sub-editor shows!