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WEDDERBURN: A TRUE TALE OF BLOOD AND DUST

An ugly story told beautifully. WEDDERBURN will hold you tightly in its grip, and leave an imprint when it lets you go.

MYFANWY JONES

Maryrose Cuskelly has the rare gift of telling a true story with the excitement and vividness of fiction; she never forsakes the facts in this chilling and hypnotic book. 

WILLIAM MCINNES
 

'The slaughter was extravagant and bloody. And yet there were people in the small town of Wedderburn in Central Victoria who, while they did not exactly rejoice, quietly thought that Ian Jamieson had done them all a favour.'

One Wednesday evening in October 2014, 65-year-old Ian Jamieson secured a hunting knife in a sheath to his belt and climbed through the wire fence separating his property from that of his neighbour Greg Holmes. Less than 30 minutes later, Holmes was dead, stabbed more than 25 times. Jamieson returned home and took two shotguns from his gun safe. He walked across the road and shot Holmes' mother, Mary Lockhart, and her husband, Peter, multiple times before calling the police. 

In this compelling book, Maryrose Cuskelly gets to the core of this small Australian town and the people within it. Much like the successful podcast S-Town, things aren't always as they seem: Wedderburn begins with an outwardly simple murder but expands to probe the dark secrets that fester within small towns, asking: is murder something that lives next door to us all?

 

 
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AWARD WINNING AUSTRALIAN WRITING 2017

Maryrose Cuskelly's essay ‘Well Before Dark’ won the New England Thunderbolt Prize for Crime Writing (non-fiction) and was chosen for inclusion in AWAW 2017. The essay examines the disappearance and murder of Queensland schoolgirl Marilyn Joy Wallman in 1972, within a broad context that includes reflections on the personal, social, historical, and political aspects of the times. 

 
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‘Like the air we breathe, we take our skin for granted . . . Yet it is remarkable; it mitigates and ameliorates the sometimes harsh world we dwell in, and is at the interface of so much of what we encounter. It is our border, the edge of ourselves, the point where we meet our universe.’

Original Skin is at times a scientific study, remarking on the biological magic behind the human body’s largest organ. At others it becomes an anthropological survey, dissecting separate societies’ attitudes towards bare bodies, and the motives behind cultural rituals such as tattoos. However, Original Skin is, above all, a celebration of the human body; its tone one of absolute awe for the simultaneously protective and fragile membrane that divides us all from the world that surrounds us. Maryrose Cuskelly’s book—in its examinations of everything from tickling to Botox to books bound in human derma—is a delightful meditation on skin.