Review - BENT, James Morton & Susanna Lobez

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

James Morton and Susanna Lobez have written a number of Australian true crime books together now, many of which are in anecdotal format. Whilst BENT tends towards that style again, it is considerably more detailed and employs a much clearer narrative connection than many of the earlier books this reviewer has read. As a result of this, it's a much stronger, considerably more informative read than originally expected.

Even when you realise that there's been an extensive culture of corruption throughout not just the Police in Australia since First Fleet Days, BENT really brings home how extensive, how protected and how blatant much of the corruption has been. Not just in the obvious locations such as Queensland in the Bjelke-Petersen era, and the NSW car crash of around the same time. The levels of corruption, and the length of time it was allowed to go on may have varied slightly state to state, but it is rather sobering to think that it's basically been everywhere. Whether it's disaffection, greed or temptation too great to resist, the thin line between the cops and crooks attempting to influence seems to be paper thin. Not helped by the witch hunts launched against so called whistleblowers (who let's face it are the ones who are attempting to do the right thing - yet we stigmatise / label...). What comes through so clearly is the need for leadership, supervision, guidance and intervention. Much of which is often missing, much of which seems to have been corrupted first.

BENT was fascinating and quite compelling reading. It's not a heavy academic treatise on the cause and affect, and likely ways of avoiding all corruption, but it does clarify a lot of intricacies and it certainly gives the reader a picture of the spread of the problem. And this time, because it's less choppy, and more structured and targeted it's extremely readable.

BENT leaves you considering the possible outcomes had the amount of effort, and the level of organisation that has been put into the crime side of the "policing" environments, had gone to actual crime solving.

Year of Publication

Bent law officers exist in every era, sabotaging the work of their colleagues and putting the community at risk.

James Morton and Susanna Lobez have illustrated, in severalĀ GanglandĀ books, that Australia almost certainly has out-ganged other countries. Now their spotlight is turned on corruption within the police services and identifying which state wins the bent cop handicap.

Review Review - BENT, James Morton & Susanna Lobez
Karen Chisholm
Monday, December 1, 2014
Blog Currently Reading - BENT: Australia's Crooked Cops, James Morton and Susanna Lobez
Karen Chisholm
Monday, November 24, 2014

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