Review - The Sting: The Undercover Operation That Caught Daniel Morcombe’s Killer, Kate Kyriacou

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

It's nearly impossible to "review" a book like THE STING simply because the subject matter is so horrific. The delivery, styling or methods chosen to explain the events pale into insignificance alongside the reader's desire to look away, whilst simultaneously wanting to track down some people in the justice and political systems and demand a few answers.

Why it is that somebody like this killer was given such light sentences over earlier child rapes, beatings and maimings is the one question that you cannot come away from this book without. How it was that he, and his like are allowed to walk the streets after REPEATED offences defies understanding. What the police had to do to eventually get their man is undoubtedly exemplary - but I just can't get past the idea that they had to. That here was a multiply convicted child rapist who was violent and vicious, opportunistic and without remorse and he was walking the streets. Defies. Understanding. That there were others of his ilk, also out and about, also suspects in the disappearance of Daniel Morcombe is beyond justification.

Whilst these aspects are, frankly, bloody awful, there is inspiration in this story. The determination and hard work of some great police members, despite inter-state tensions, and of course, the bravery and sheer guts of Daniel Morcombe's parents Denise and Bruce Morcombe. Let's hope that at this too late stage, the justice system honours them and Daniel's memory.

THE STING is well worth reading for those aspects, but you will have to steel yourself for some harrowing tales. Kyriacou has done a great job of just laying it on the line in those areas, and allowing the readers to experience the shock and horror. Despite that, this book is well worth reading just simply so that we all get to understand what's wrong with our justice system and hopefully agitate to get something done about it.

Year of Publication

The disappearance of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe was one of the most heartbreaking and confounding child abduction and murder cases of the century, spanning almost a decade prior to the eventual arrest of known pedophile Brett Peter Cowan, one of the original persons of interest.

The story of the police sting that resulted in his confession reads like crime fiction, featuring an elaborately staged fake crime gang run by a ‘Mr Big’ that lured Cowan in with the promise of a hefty payout.

The Sting takes you on a journey behind Australia’s most sensational undercover bust, revealing extraordinary new details. It is a shocking insight into one of the country’s most evil killers, and the operation that brought him down.

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