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A Murder Without Motive


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About the Author

Martin McKenzie-Murray is The Saturday Paper's chief correspondent. He is a former Canberra speechwriter, Age columnist, and adviser to the chief commissioner of Victoria Police.


`Honest, sympathetic, reflective - this is true crime at its best. A striking debut from McKenzie-Murray, which pursues uncomfortable truths with candour and care.'

-- Damon Young, author of Philosophy in the Garden and Distraction

`Martin McKenzie-Murray is a writer of exceptional moral heft. He assays pain and loss with an intimacy few others achieve, never losing sight of the humanity that blooms around trauma. As a journalist, his great project is the unexplainable. Nowhere is that project explored with more clarity than in this book. He feels and is felt on every page.'

-- Erik Jensen, editor of The Saturday Paper and author of Acute Misfortune: The Life and Death of Adam Cullen

`As my speechwriter and policy adviser, Martin McKenzie-Murray made our world a better place with his insight, his empathy, and his passion. In A Murder Without Motive, he brings these skills to the story of Rebecca Ryle, at the same time brilliantly challenging the tsunami of brutality and banality that male culture can be. This powerful book gives us a glimpse of a vibrant and much-loved daughter, sister, and friend - and I challenge any parent not to be touched by the courage, resilience, and generosity of spirit shown by Fran and Marie Ryle.

At the time of her death, one man stripped away Rebecca Ryle's dignity. In some small way, those involved in the telling of this story have reinstated that dignity with love, thoughtfulness, and a passion to challenge the status quo.'

-- Ken Lay, former Chief Commissioner, Victoria Police

`McKenzie-Murray has been a columnist with Fairfax in the past, but as the Saturday Paper's chief reporter, he's better than he's ever been. His writing this year has been unmissable for its earnestness, its probing nature, its compassion and its calm authority. More please.' 2014 COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR

* Crikey *

`I can't think of a better, more literate and perceptive reporter.'

-- Jonathan Green, ABC Radio National

`[Martin McKenzie-Murray] is that increasingly rare thing ... a reporter who will knock on the doors of the bereaved and afflicted, and write humanely about the people he encounters.'

-- Sybil Nolan * Inside Story *

`McKenzie-Murray's adolescence is closely entwined with the crime, and his deep, thoughtful examination of the suburban male psyche is one of the many strengths of this remarkable book ... Insightful and eloquent ... His immaculate prose cuts cleanly through the social murk, and his clarity of vision renders the complicated ideas of male aggression and the ugly side effects of suburban malaise at once shocking and shockingly readable.'

-- Michaela McGuire * The Saturday Age *

`[T]akes an unorthodox but illuminating approach to his subject, beginning with introspection and, perhaps, atonement ... McKenzie-Murray firmly rejects the proposition that the murder was an aberration in a life otherwise considered "normal", something Duggan's defence counsel submitted in the absence of a criminal history. Indeed the notion of "normality", particularly in the light of Duggan's heinous crime, meets with the author's disdain.'

-- Martin Leonard * Weekend Australian *

`Penetrating and insightful ... one of the most cogent and persuasive aspects of A Murder Without Motive is [McKenzie-Murray's] candid and forensic analysis of the youth culture of the northern-suburbs badlands and the "swell of casual violence and unripe, immature masculinity" he believed silently festered in these young people.'

-- Bron Sibree * Weekend Australian *

`[D]eeply thoughtful ... The main strength of this book is the way it dips between genres - A Murder Without Motive is part-true crime, part police procedural, part-memoir. It's a consideration of adolescent ennui in Australian suburbia and an engrossing investigation into masculinity and violence.'

-- Tessa Connelly * Canberra Weekly *

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