No Turning Back by Joanne Lees

2014 Limelight Reviews
Mystery and Crime

No Turning Back by Joanne Lees is a true crime story that takes place mainly in the Northern Territory,  the Australian Outback, although Joanne takes sojourns to Melbourne to escape from the heat of legal matters and to regain her stability in the middle of a horrific trial, after many years of waiting for truth and retribution.

Joanne tells her story not as a victim or witness, but as a way to find her own voice in relationship to the catastrophe that enfolded when she and her partner, Peter,  took a long anticipated holiday in the Outback which turned into a shocking nightmare. They are followed, forced to stop and brutalised. Peter is killed abd Joanne is captured. Through great presence of mind and courage, she escapes, hides and is is rescued. Literally, that is almost where the twisted tale begins, as Joanne is betrayed by her rescuers when they sell her story to a local newspaper.

Over time, Joanne learns wit, wisdom and savvy about whom to trust. The Outback police are shown to be unskilled ruffians who may doctor documents to suit their purpose, probably not out of malice but ignorance. A few outstanding police women bond with Joanne and help and support her. The fact that it took many years to bring John Murdoch to justice is frighteningly revealed.

For those interested in minute details of crime, details –  including quotes and victim statements from the trial – have been included. Also included are  about 20 full colour photos of Joanne and Peter during their happier days of holiday, which could be compared to Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, almost grotesque and peculiarly added to this book about struggle, death and redemption!   

No Turning Back by Joanne Lees

Sunny Seagull
SMSA Member and participant in the Mystery & Crime Reading Group