THIS HOUSE OF GRIEF – Helen Garner – Unthinkable Crime Unfolds.

A delicate portrayal of a court case.

By Helen Garner ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 10, 2023

Robert Farquharson went to trial in 2005 and again in 2010 for the deaths of his three young children, who had been in his car when it plunged into a dam. Novelist, screenwriter, and journalist Garner attended both trials and provides a chilling account of the courtroom proceedings. She describes the evidence presented to the juries, the demeanor of the lawyers and judges, and the testimony of witnesses, including medical and psychological experts, police officers, and Farquharson’s wife. Garner notes the contrast between the verbose defense lawyer Peter Morrissey and the Crown’s representative Jeremy Rapke. She empathizes with the jury’s challenge to weigh contradictory evidence and discern truth from lies. The jury learned of Farquharson’s broken marriage and the feeling that he could not tolerate the loss of control he experienced. They had to decide if he was depressed and suicidal, seeking revenge against his wife, or if he had blacked out due to a coughing fit. Garner captures the suspense of the jury’s deliberations, the blow of the decision and sentencing, and her own unsettled response to the tragedy.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2023
ISBN: 9780553387438

Page Count: 320
Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: yesterday
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023