Evil Angels: The Case of Lindy Chamberlain

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9780671631635: Evil Angels: The Case of Lindy Chamberlain

The basis for the Meryl Streep film A Cry in the Dark: The dramatic true story of a mother’s worst nightmare and the murder trial that shocked Australia.

On a camping trip at Ayer’s Rock, the Chamberlain family’s infant daughter disappeared in the middle of the night. Her distraught mother, Lindy, claimed she saw a dingo carry her off into the Australian outback. Two years later, their tragedy worsened when, without a murder weapon, a body, or even a motive, a jury convicted Lindy Chamberlain of killing her own daughter. The public cheered.
 
John Bryson, a trial lawyer and award-winning journalist, deconstructs the factors that led to a seemingly reasonless incarceration and the public attitude that demanded it. With this book, he began to sway popular opinion in the Chamberlains’ favor by discussing the failures on the part of the police, forensics team, and press.
 
Winner of the CWA Gold Dagger award and the inspiration for the film A Cry in the Dark starring Meryl Streep, Evil Angels presents an impartial analysis of the most notorious miscarriage of justice in Australian history. It serves as a reminder of the dangers of blindly searching for a conviction, the importance of scientific accuracy, the volatility of the media, and the ease with which a nation can fall prey to bigoted thinking. Written with literary finesse, this is one of the twentieth century’s most important—and thoughtful—works of true crime.

 

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About the Author:

John Bryson, a native of Melbourne, Australia, is a lawyer and an author of both fiction and nonfiction. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger and the Victorian Premier’s Award for Evil Angels.
 

Review:

“Out of the complex story of his country’s most famous murder trial, Australian lawyer, journalist and novelist John Bryson has fashioned a remarkable book, one that resonates with moral ambiguities and wrenching emotions. . . . Bryson’s handling of the complicated testimony about physical evidence is a model of clarity and coherence. . . . Far more important, however, is his quietly devastating portrait of the ugly undercurrent of ignorance and prejudice that ran against Lindy Chamberlain almost from the beginning.” —Newsday
 
“One of the most interesting and disturbing books I’ve ever read about the social and emotional ramifications of a criminal trial . . . [Bryson] turns the worst nightmare of false justice into an affirmation of honest grit, without losing sight of how easily Lindy Chamberlain could still be in jail. . . . Terrific.” —Erika Munk, The Village Voice
 
“Five hundred and fifty pages of cinematic excitement.” —Maeve Binchy
 
“Non-stop excitement . . . Bryson piles shock upon shock as he spirits readers all over the map: To courtrooms in Darwin and Alice Springs; to the homes of aboriginal trackers; to forensic laboratories in Australia, England and the United States; even to an Adelaide zoo, for bizarre experiments in the likely behavior of dingoes. . . . Books don’t get more interesting than this one.” —The Virginian-Pilot
 
“An impressive literary document.” —The Times (London)
 
“Hypnotic.” —The Mail on Sunday
 
“Stunning and disturbing.” —The Australian
 
“A fine work of literature. The dramatic intensity never wavers.” —The Age (Melbourne)
 
“A story with the tragic force of a Shakespearian drama.” —Monthly Review
 
“A work of art.” —Australian Book Review
 

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