Saturday, September 6, 2014

Review: THE FALL by Amy Dale

The Fall: How Simon Gittany killed Lisa HarnumFrom the back of the book:
On July 30, 2011 a terrified woman ran for the door of the 15th storey, inner Sydney apartment she shared with her cruel and controlling fiance, desperately trying to escape. She wasn't quick enough. A hidden camera captured him covering her mouth to suppress her screams and dragging her back inside. Sixty-nine seconds later, Lisa Harnum was dead.

This is the case that captured the attention of a nation.

My Review:
One of the more sensationalised crimes reported in recent times, the murder of Lisa Harnum by Simon Gittany captivated arm chair juries and social media addicts throughout court proceedings. Having all the hallmarks of prime time crime; an attractive couple, never-before-seen video evidence after the fact, and the brutal and public display of the heinous crime, the trial which saw Simon Gittany sentenced to 18 + 8yrs was far from a media circus but it did provide an insight into a dark, dark place, both from the perspective of the convicted and the victim (Lisa and her family).

Author Amy Dale, Chief Court Reporter for The Daily Telegraph provides a factual and well informed account of events which led to the premature end of Lisa Harnum's life. Using multiple sources from Gittany's camp, interviews with Lisa's family, and an almost forensic analysis of Lisa's text messages and photo's of Simon, Amy Dale transcribes a straight forward narrative that follows not only the linear path of the investigation into Lisa's murder, but also provides a glimpse at her life before she met Simon.

THE FALL goes beyond the court room, taking the reader cross continent to Lisa's homeland in Canada, introducing her family and friends to paint a broader picture - Lisa, the vibrant and confident young women, transformed by her relationship with Simon is barely recognisable by the end of the book.

Despite being familiar with the case (via media reporting), it was good to read a more in depth and factual account of the investigation and to gather some context and understanding (all be it from a distance) to the complex nature of Simon and Lisa's relationship and the subsequent events which led to this unfortunate outcome.

A highly recommended read for true crime readers.


  1. I haven't understood the frenzy around this case. It is a tragedy but no more so than many others and there doesn't seem to be much doubt that he was guilty.

    1. Not sure either. That said, the book did provide for some interesting reading.