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Dispatch: 23 January 2017
Joe Cinque's Consolation: A True Story/Garner, Helen/Paper/0330421786/S002-B
"How soon the killing of Joe Cinque is swept away into the past! The courts have finished with him - but where does all the woundedness, all the hatred go? Must the load be shouldered only by the people who loved him? Is this what "tragedy" means.
In October 1997 a clever young law student at ANU made a bizarre plan to murder her devoted boyfriend after a dinner party at their house. Some of the dinner guests - most of them university students - had heard rumours of the plan. Nobody warned Joe Cinque. He died one Sunday, in his own bed, of a massive dose of Rohypnol and heroin. His girlfriend and her best friend were charged with murder.
Helen Garner followed the trials in the ACT Supreme Court. Compassionate but unflinching, this is a book about how and why Joe Cinque died. It probes the gap between ethics and the law; examines the helplessness of the courts in the face of what we think of as 'evil'; and explores conscience, culpability, and the battered ideal of duty of care.