Thursday, February 19, 2009

The shark net

The shark net: memories and murder was written by Robert Drewe and first published in 2000. It records the memories of Drewe growing up in Perth in the 1950s and 1960s. His father worked for the Dunlop Company and the family transferred to Perth when Robert was six. Amongst the description of suburban life there is the undercurrent of fear created by a series of apparently unrelated murders which for many years baffle police. One of the victims was a friend of Robert. An implement used owned by another friend was a weapon used for another murder. It was later discovered that the murderer, Eric Edgar Cooke, once worked for the Dunlop Company. The effects of the murders played a significant part in the minds of the local citizens and as a journalist Robert Drewe was particularly interested in the case.

As well as describing the life of the Drewe family in Perth and the constrictions of being part of the Dunlop family the book recalls the murders and associated crimes committed by Cooke and the fear these crimes created in the community. Interspersed are chapters where Drewe attempts to portray the thoughts, feelings and actions of Cooke as the series of crimes are committed. This is an interesting, readable book based strongly on fact but with sections written as fiction.

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