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Book DetailsISBN: 9781863253635
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Book Review: Beyond Bad by Sandra Lee - Reviewed by Boomert (13 Jan 2010)
The subject matter—a horrific true crime; the place—Aberdeen, New South Wales; the killer—a woman whose history of violence was accepted as ‘Kath just being Kath’ by the inhabitants of the small country town. Sandra Lee’s slow exposition of the murder explores the family, neighbourhood, background and past relationships of both killer and victim, and shows considerable sympathy for John Price (‘Pricey’), whose six-year relationship with Katherine Knight was scarcely love’s true dream, and culminated in his grisly murder. But it wasn’t just the murder … it was the skinning of the body, the decapitation, the cooking of the head, and Kath Knight’s complete lack of remorse that made this crime so shocking. Although the writing is repetitive at times, and Sandra Lee has a journalistic habit of using pre-loaded descriptions, this is a careful and considered account, and laudably unfolds both Knight’s ‘country’ helpfulness and the evil inherent in her personality while also discussing Pricey’s easygoing nature and fear of Knight’s violent vengefulness. Kate Hood’s voice is tonally pleasant—she doesn’t shape the phrases, and her approach isn’t an intimate one, but it’s a clear and well-articulated reading. Lee’s exploration of ‘mad’ versus ‘bad’ is well conveyed. Ingrid Heyn is a writer, web designer, singer and bookseller at Soundbooks in Melbourne
Sandra Lee is one of Australia s most respected journalists. Former Assistant Editor of THE DAILY TELEGRAPH as well as the newspaper s North American correspondent, she now writes the much-coveted back page of the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. Sandra lives in Sydney.
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