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Leadbelly: Inside Australia's Underworld Wars

3.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
When you're hot you're hot. And when you're shot you're shot ... In Melbourne, generations of gangsters have lived and died by the creed ''We catch and kill our own''. But in the last decade the violence bubbling under the surface spilled into open war on the streets. This is the story of the gangsters, the hitmen and the police who deal with them in the deadliest game of ...more
Paperback
Published 2004 by Floradale Productions & Sly Ink, Australia
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David Sarkies
Jan 29, 2015 David Sarkies rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Since Underbelly was released, nobody
Recommended to David by: The Footy Show
Shelves: true-crime
An early book about the Melbourne Gangland killings
6 April 2012

This book was released pretty quickly after the Melbourne Underground Gang War, which I still clearly remember. At the time all we knew was that criminals were pretty much going around killing each other, sometimes in broad daylight. There was one incident when one of the victims, Jason Moran, was shot point blank with a shotgun while he was sitting in his car getting ready to take his children home from their weekly football match.
...more
Nocheevo
May 13, 2008 Nocheevo rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: dealing drugs messes you up more than using them
Shelves: crime
So much potential wasted. A possibly gripping story of a gangland war escalating but the authors have clearly written it piecemeal in a one chapter/ one murder fashion. It reads a little too crime porn in the pulp fiction style without any noir sensibility. Really needed to be framed within the organised crime history in Melbourne as it is essentially a changing of the guard story.
Leanne
Nov 05, 2008 Leanne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in true crime
Whilst the subject matter and the events described are interesting, particularly if you lived in Melbourne when this gangland war was going on, the writing style is a tad melodramatic. The author is newsreporter and it tends to show.
Carolyn
Nov 27, 2008 Carolyn rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found the whole Melbourne underworld story fascinating and the introduction to its characters came in handy when I watched the Underbelly series (which I watched on DVD, far more satisfying than the week-by-week method!).

The first part of the book covers the Underbelly series of events but, as this was an early edition, Carl Williams's name wasn't mentioned once. Very disconcerting until I realised he was probably in court when it was published.

The writing style in this part of the book was
...more
Eric Stamps
Oct 31, 2014 Eric Stamps rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eric by: Eric Stamps
I live in the United States, so foreign crime is interesting to me. That said, this book was informative, but rather dull. As another review stated, the author's journalism background shows. It reads as 'So and so was blah, he did this, died this way'. Good book for what it is, good read between my security patrols.
Leanne Porter
Mar 04, 2014 Leanne Porter rated it it was amazing
very very interesting, the aussie crims havent changed since the days of ned kelly & neither have their cops but otherwise a very good read, full of corruption, narks & half truths
Fleur
Jan 03, 2009 Fleur rated it liked it
I felt the book was really two books - the first half a collection of serialised print articles while the second half - looking at what made the vic police so trigger happpy as the real story worth reading and well written.
Alissa
May 29, 2008 Alissa marked it as to-read
The book is based on the real life events of the Melbourne Gangland Wars which inspired the hit tv series Underbelly(not aired in Melbourne). The story revolving around key players in Melbournes criminal underworld.
regina
Dec 27, 2009 regina rated it it was ok
Great introduction to the Australian series Underbelly. That said, this book was written like a high school essay. Nothing imaginative about the writing. I'd only recommend this if you're going to watch Underbelly.
Kate
Aug 02, 2011 Kate added it
Read it after the TV series. Of course, a different perspective and doesn't focus on the same events in the same way but compelling nonetheless.
Pru Shady
Nov 16, 2008 Pru Shady rated it liked it
I read this book after watching Underbelly. It read like a report and each chapter was a new report. Very interesting at times.
Samantha
Apr 05, 2008 Samantha rated it it was ok
It was interesting, but read like a teenagers project.
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