What do murders, lawyers, politicians and property developers have in common? To find out you'll have to read Christ Nyst's CROOK AS ROOKWOOD.
First an explanation of the title. In Australia, when things aren't good they are “crook”. “How are ya, mate?” “Crook, mate.” When things are really, really bad they are “'crook as Rookwood”. Rookwood is located in Sydney. At 700 acres, it is one of the largest burial grounds in the world and one of Australia's oldest cemeteries (courtesy of www.strathfieldhistory.org
). So if things are Crook as Rookwood, it can't get much worse.
CROOK AS ROOKWOOD is a fast-paced romp that examines the mechanics of power. Who is connected to whom? What do they know? And how can they turn that knowledge to their advantage? It is also a look at corruption in its many forms: Major corruption in perverting justice and committing crimes. Minor corruption in choosing not to examine things which perhaps don't feel right. The plot is quite complex so you need to pay attention.
Chris Nyst is a keen observer of personalities and creates memorable characters. He also has a feel for writing dialogue which is witty and sounds authentic .A defence lawyer, based on Queensland's Gold Coast, Nyst's clients have ranged from high-ranking politicians and sporting identities to a notorious hit-man and petty criminals. He knows the legal system and how it works. He also knows criminals. He knows how they think and how they speak.
I don't know if CROOK AS ROOKWOOD has been published outside Australia. I'm not sure how well it would fare; it is uniquely Australian and there are many elements that those not familiar with Australian society might puzzle over. However, if you have a tame Aussie you can call on for explanations, then I highly recommend this book. It's great fun.