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Three Crooked Kings
by

The first instalment of two explosive investigative books, Three Crooked Kings is a must-read for fans of Australian true crime.

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Overview

In 1949, a young Terence Murray Lewis graduated from the police academy, ready to start his career in law enforcement. Over the next four decades, he rose to the pinnacle of power as the knighted Commissioner of Police in Queensland before his spectacular downfall and imprisonment after the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.

Three Crooked Kings follows Lewis’ journey through the ranks, as he becomes part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glen Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The alleged suicide of prostitute and brothel madam Shirley Brifman in the early 1970s provides the turning point for a culture that reigned unchecked for several decades. It was part of a grand narrative teeming with murder, pay-offs, political machinations, drug heists, assisted suicides, police in-fighting and a complicated system of corruption that ultimately collapsed under its own weight.

Based on unprecedented interviews with Terry Lewis and access to his personal papers, Three Crooked Kings is the missing piece in the puzzle of the story of Queensland’s endemic generational corruption. It is a searing story of greed, crime and corruption. Awarded journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account of an era that changed Queensland society; an impact that reverberates across the country to this day.

Details
Matthew Condon
Photo by The University of Queensland

Matthew Condon

Matthew Condon is a prize-winning Australian novelist and journalist. He began his journalism career with the Gold Coast Bulletin in 1984 and subsequently worked for leading newspapers and journals including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Sun-Herald, Melbourne’s Sunday Age and The Courier-Mail. He has written ten books of fiction, including The Trout Opera and is the author of the bestselling true-crime trilogy about Queensland crime and corruption – Three Crooked Kings (2013), Jacks and Jokers (2014), All Fall Down (2015) and Little Fish are Sweet (2016). His most recent book is The Night Dragon (2019).