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3.31  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  37 reviews
'The slaughter was extravagant and bloody. And yet there were people in the small town of Wedderburn in Central Victoria who, while they did not exactly rejoice, quietly thought that Ian Jamieson had done them all a favour.'

One fine Wednesday evening in October 2014, 65-year-old Ian Jamieson secured a hunting knife in a sheath to his belt and climbed through the wire fence
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 2018 by Allen & Unwin
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3.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  182 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
WEDDERBURN is not just a book, it's a small community situated in North Central Victoria - in the area known as the Golden Triangle. Like so many small communities out here, it's battling drought, population decline, and doing a pretty good job at holding back the tide. In 2014 when the unthinkable happened everyone with any connections or knowledge of the place couldn't help but wonder what on earth would trigger such an appalling act.

The primary reason behind this book, and the reading of it,
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Ostensibly an investigation into the reasons behind the seemingly senseless murders of three people one evening in the small central Victorian town of Wedderburn, this book actually shed no light at all on the reasons for the crime and I'm wondering what it's purpose was.
Cuskelly is a competent, compassionate writer, but I'm very unsure of what she set out to achieve.
Her story faithfully depicts the events, the crushing pain caused by the the crime and the self-pity of the convicted perpetrator,
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-reviews
Wedderburn: A True Tale of Blood and Dust by Maryrose Cuskelly is a deeply contemplative and gripping analysis of a small-town murder in Australia written very much in the vein of Helen Garner’s true-crime style (think Joe Cinque’s Consolation and This House of Grief).

It focuses on the brutal killing of Peter Lockhart, 78, his second wife Mary, 75, and her son Greg Holmes, 48, at the hands of their neighbour, 64-year-old Ian Jamieson, in rural Wedderburn, in Central Victoria, 215km north-west o
SJ Reads
Oct 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
What I liked
-the story
-the approach the writer took when investigating
-the lack of judgement

What I disliked
-the bland writing
-the fact that it was Aussie orientated, others not from Australia picking this up could be confused by the language
Jan 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Despite its early promise, like so many others I found this book rather petered out. An interesting story but the author never seemed really to get past shallow waters in delving into an unusual crime.
Debbie Lamb
May 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book started off strongly and was compelling as I couldn't quite believe what I was reading. A 64 year old man callously walks out of his house and stabs one neighbour 20 times, leaving him for dead then heading over to his other neighbours, one of whom is the mother of the stabbing victim and shoots them both dead with a shotgun.

The premise of the book is to establish what provokes a murder. We're told early on that Jamieson just 'snapped' after a long running feud regarding a dirt track a
Apr 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't like this book at all & got quite angry with it since it's all I had on a tedious day catching buses & my phone was out of battery so I was forced to read it. I just don't see the point of this story from this angle being made into a book, maybe she could have stretched the story out for a long article but it didn't deserve a book.
Basically the premise is what drives a decent bloke to murder? A guy kills his 3 neighbours, people say they got what was coming to them, turns out t
Angelique Simonsen
Very much like s-town podcast where it's more about the dynamics of the town and the people living there. The crime seems black and white but yet everything about it is gray gray gray.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
A well written and thoughtful account of the tragic and shocking murder of three family members by their neighbour for who knows what reason.
Carolyn Olive
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it
I know Wedderburn the town (I live in the next town) and whilst I didn’t know any of the people personally I know some of the families. So this book for me will be quite different than for those that don’t know Wedderburn at all. I can only say that I found it quite interesting and it changed my mind completely. My former opinions had been formed from gossip and talk at the local fire shed. At the end of the day it was all so tragic. And Wedderburn the town takes a bit of a hit in the book. I fo ...more
Jane Stewart
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it
The entire book seemed to be based on a handful of interviews and of those about the victim who appeared to be a bit player in the whole thing. Well written and interesting but had the potential to be a whole lot better.

2.5 ☆
Finished reading ... Wedderburn: A true tale of blood and dust / Maryrose Cuskelly ... 30 March 2019
ISBN: 9781760528072 … 285 pp.

This true crime story of a triple murder in country Victoria was an OK but ultimately unsatisfying read. It was OK in that the characters you heard from were well, if a little repetitively, presented but so many characters were missing. The author's opinions count for much in the narrative and don't make up for the missing voices. She also leaves some of the fam
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
In October 2014 the small country town of Wedderburn in central Victoria was shocked by a triple murder. The victims were an elderly couple and her adult son by a previous marriage. This book is the story of those murders and the man responsible. This book felt underdone to me like there is a story there but the author didn't take the time to research backgrounds throughly. Mention is made of the murderer Ian Jamieson's difficult childhood but it is just mentioned as word-of-mouth and no real re ...more
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Just boring
Ian Smith
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
WEDDERBURN by Maryrose Cuskelly An Allen and Unwin book
Review by Ian Smith
The town of the title is where it all happened, the triple murder that is, and this is all about that event as you might expect. However it’s also much more, especially the events beyond the bloody crime scenes left behind.
It begins with a detailed description of the horrific events that took place on that October day in 2014. How it all unfolded, the event itself and the immediate aftermath. That PTSD is involved in a cou
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I grew up in Central Victoria and we played Weddeburn in the school sports games. I think they were called 'carnivals' back then? This very much had the feeling of a small country town and I fought constantly as I read not to take sides, this impulse coming from my own farm, and then living in town for a few years, childhood. The author has captured well the claustophobic nature of small country town life, incl nearby farming, in central VIctoria and why some young go and never come back, and so ...more
Giovanna Walker
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I remember the case in the paper. This is a sensitively written account, and I can understand how some of those close to those involved - the victim's families - would have trouble with it. As the writer states, they may feel like they have been misrepresented, but it is the writers point of view. It is a sad tale, with no explanations, if you are looking for a reason you won't find it in this book. It's trying to explain a horrible event and the aftermath. Some things cannot be explained. The w ...more
Cheryl Torpey
May 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maryrose Cuskelly says she started out curious about the community disrupted by three murders, rather than the crime itself, but lost this thread and ended by being absorbed by the crime and making judgement on who she sympathized most with. Alluded to the psychological tendency for power motivated males to be more likely to commit atrocious murders - but didn’t offer an exploration of this. In fact, beyond constructing a reporter style narrative of the facts and the interviewees anecdotes - muc ...more
Jun 11, 2019 rated it liked it
I’m not really sure where the story was in this one. I would have liked more on the effect this triple murder had on the town, as the title suggests, and less on the unfathomable decision one man made to kill his neighbours in cold blood, of which I am no more enlightened than before reading. Despite the unusual circumstances I didn’t think was a particularly gripping or insightful piece of true crime, particularly when compared to other unique Australian writers like Chloe Hooper or Helen Garne ...more
Nicole Seadon
Jun 28, 2019 rated it liked it
This book felt like a bunch of essays given chapter headings. Each chapter felt like the start of a whole new story and none of it connected in a logical way for me. There were whole paragraphs within the chapters just that just didn’t fit for me, they felt irrelevant or like space fillers.

It was an interesting story of Australian, small town life when a big city event occurs. It just felt disjointed.
maureen sindoni
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written. Could be in any country place during drought and difficuleties incurred. Showed the personalities well and how family upheaval and and in a troubled character passionate feelings can occur.

Well written. Easy to read. Could be in any place during drought heat and perceived threat. Showed the personalities well and how family upheaval and a troubled personality could collide tragically. Shows family loyalties.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio-book
I'm confused what the angle was meant to be here. The writing seems to frequently hint at uncovering motives, reasons, another layer to what was behind an awful crime...but it never really delivers? Even the blurb that talks about some people quietly thinking Jamieson had done them all a favour didn't really seem to be backed up by anything more than brief mentions of small town gossip. I found it fairly repetitive and confusingly written.
Cathie Sawyer
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
As the first true crime novel I have read I wasn't really too sure what to expect with this book.
On a Wednesday night in October 2014 Ian Jamieson brutally slaughters his neighbour Greg Holmes by stabbing him over 25 times. He then returns to his property grabs two shotguns and walks to the house across the road where he shoots and kills Peter and Mary Lockhart, Holmes' mother and step father.
Whilst writing this book Cuskelly searches for a true reason behind the seemingly senseless murders.
Kate Adele
Jun 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
Strange that it's classed as true crime. Very little about the murderer so it focused on characters not associated with the murder. Encouraged stereotypes that are done to death about country people and based the whole story on a rumour. Lots of stereotypical assumptions and conclusions about the cause of murder with nothing to base it on. Better off reading the newspaper reports.
Gillian Winwood-smith
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The actual point of the book seemed to lack focus from the beginning. It seems to start with empathy for the killer who “did the town a favour”. This didn’t sit well with me. All I could think of was the poor victims families. By the end it was their story that actual made the book worth reading as an account of how a senseless night of violence ruined their lives. RIP to the poor victims
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: true-crime
This story is the height of “in for a penny, in for a pound.”

Sometimes the language is a bit too... flowery, but overall a solid true crime book for readers who want to learn more about what a horrific crime can do to a small town in rural Australia.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A depressing journey through the inexplicable slaying of three people by their neighbor in a small country town in Australia. The overwhelming feeling at finishing this is Why? Why did it happen? Even the author can’t answer that question. Madness.
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I think I am just not a huge fan of true crime.

It's very well written, very respectful, not salacious. Also well researched, & balanced viewpoints - the crime itself did not happen in a vacuum.

I am sure it's great if you're a fan of true crime though!
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
A little hard to follow at times but an eye opening insight into this crime.
Maya Linnell
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not normally a true-crime reader, but Maryrose's beautiful writing style made me feel like I was immersed in a fiction book. An excellent read.
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