Monday, January 16, 2017

Milat: Inside Australia's Biggest Manhunt - A Detective's Story

Milat is the confronting story of the serial killer who preyed upon young women backpacking through Australia, raping and murdering without remorse. Author Clive Small, a senior detective on the case is methodical and clinical in his recollection of the case itself, procedures, process and investigative methods used to put Ivan Milat behind bars. Whilst interesting in a morbid way, this approach did result in a monotonous dour tone which at times led to distraction.

True crime readers wanting to know more about the backpacker murders will get what they are after in full gore through the harsh reality of, well, reality. Ivan is a brutal murderer with no redeeming qualities as is evident by Small’s writing of the book. Whilst the detail is hard to swallow at times, the devil needs to be brought to light to fully paint the picture that is Milat and the heinous crimes he committed.  

Towards the later stages of the book, the author sidesteps Milat to detail other crimes he’s either been part of from a policing point of view or those which are likened to the backpacker murders. These vinaigrette's are insightful but all too brief. The case of a Milat family member (not Ivan) brutally murdering his mate whilst another filmed it is downright scary and warrants more page time. Returning to Milat towards the end provides a glimpse at the murderer maintaining his innocence though contradicting himself on occasion. His prison health and mental stability are also well documented.

Narrated by Peter Hosking, Milat felt at times like a lengthy nightly news bulletin. I did have to concentrate heavily through the more dour passages than I would’ve liked as the monotone was near sleep inducing, particularly late at night.  (Tip - listen during the day). That said, Hosking’s Australian accent works perfect for this book and the narration itself was good enough to keep me listening.

I’d give Milat a 3 / 5.    

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