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Publisher's Summary

And Then the Darkness is a gripping account of the disappearance in the Australian Outback of English tourist Peter Falconio. His girlfriend, Joanne Lees, was found cut, bleeding and wandering the highway, her hands bound. Joanne's account of her ordeal sparked a frenzy of media interest and the biggest manhunt ever mounted in Australia. Questions arose about the police operation and about Joanne herself.

Award-winning journalist and columnist Sue Williams delves into the saga as it unfolds, finding a policeman willing to risk everything to crack the case, a journalist hell-bent on proving Joanne a liar, endless conspiracy theories, countless devastated lives in both Britain and Australia, and, ultimately, an explosive finale.

©2005 Sue Williams (P)2006 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

" skillfully woven recreation of events reads so much like a seriously creepy novel, it well may have you swearing off outback holidays forever. All the detail and facts, however, have been accrued from some serious journalistic digging, and it's the density of detail, along with its ominous atmosphere, that is the true gold." (Australian Women's Weekly)
"Like good crime fiction, And Then the Darkness presents us with clearly drawn characters and a satisfying denouement." (The Age)

What listeners say about And Then the Darkness

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Riveting...almost!

I loved this book - I am an admirer of true crime, plus the writing really put the Australian scene on the radar as a major character.
Additionally, the author goes into the life circumstances and backgrounds of all the main characters, which I really appreciated, as it gives context to their attitudes and behaviors and to how they live out their lives.

I am only giving it 4 stars because I didn't think the ending went far enough towards resolution...i.e. where are the major players now and what are they doing? How has what happened to the main protagonist affected her life now? I just thought things ground to a halt that was way too abrupt.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Gulp...

Interesting story but wayyyy too much gulping sounds from narrator. Couldn't that be edited out? Enjoy the story, swallow by swallow.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

tedious

A long, boring, and overly dramatic recitation of a young crime victim's angst stemming from a highly sensational Australian outback murder and kidnapping. The author essentially makes a book out of newsclippings, cataloging, among other things, every highway murder committed west of Sydney. I'm uncertain whether the book itself left me unsatisfied, or the inappropriately wry inflection of the reader's voice. This was a marginal listen

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent true crime account

Very well written and narrated. Great for lovers of true crime! I really appreciated the narrator; Aussie accents tend to get on my nerves but her voice was enjoyable to listen to. She doesn't over-read or overact. My idea of an excellent narrator is one who makes you forget you're listening instead of reading, and she has this quality. I wish there were more audiobooks available with her narration. This was one of my first purchases after joining, and it remains one of my favorites (if your in the mood to get lost in a great story). It is graphic at times but only as much as necessary. Neither the writing or the narration are ever gratuitous. Recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too much fluff!

There are too many off shoot stories in this book! She goes into so many tangential stories about Australia and the towns and other people not directly involved in the story. It's distracting and makes the story quite boring.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's ALL unacceptable!

(As posted in Goodreeds)
I spent so much time feeling so sorry for Joanne! What a horrible ordeal, both the crime and the trial and run-up to it! And the fact that it was based in Australia about victims who were from Great Britain did not make any difference in that :-(. I know that even if such a thing happened in the US, there would be no less criticism from the press or mistrust from observers. The amount that the victims have to experience is unacceptable, although the insistence of avoiding convicting an innocent person is necessary to avoid the unacceptable reverse. Oh, the whole thing is miserable and unacceptable in reverse!
I'm not sure why I am so attracted to true crime books and stories, but I hope that, in the end, they do tend to paint a true picture of some of the evil of people. Sigh. I am privileged: I've managed to make it through almost 61 years without having to experience any of this. Actually, MOST people in the US are, especially most white middle-class citizens. I'm sorry for those who are not…

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Listen

Great book, the research the author did change my opinion of this event. Good work, not often unbiased journalism hits the mark like this. Thought early on I thought a bias developed, then started to think author wanted to truly tell the real story.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 09-01-10

Persevere!

The start is horribly patronising and very difficult to listen to if you are british, and especially if you have any connection wtih yorkshire (although the author describes Huddersfield as a midlands town!) I almost gave up listening early on as I found it infuriating verging on insulting. However, it is well worth persevering with and quickly turns into a very gripping account of their trip and is very easy to listen to and follow. Not advisable for parents of young people planning a similar tour, as the author is very fond of recounting other notorious cases! However, an excellent book and very well written and read - although it may very well change your views of certain british journalist and newspapers.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 04-24-16

A sinister story with a potential twist

What did you like most about And Then the Darkness?

The in depth focus on the people and events before and after, it gives a complete picture.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not sure this applies to this true story, the focus and parallels of the characters and their backgrounds takes some getting through but is worth while.

Have you listened to any of Kate Hood’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No, it is pieced together very well once you get through the beginning.

Any additional comments?

The is a true story well read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jennifer
  • 04-07-12

And Then The Darkness

I remember this true story well,your worst nightmare travelling abroad,although i remember the story,there was also alot i did not know,i am still not sure about what really happened in the Australian outback see what you think!!!

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 11-09-10

Not good!

Not well written at all and not very well read either. I did struggle to the end of this book, but it was a chore.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-08-20

Loved it

The story was great and very detailed.
The narration was perfect which made the story very captivating.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 08-03-20

Great book with an excellent narrator!

I really enjoyed the book and appreciate all the research! The narration was excellent! Thanks!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dicko
  • 06-22-21

Fascinating Story

Good story and well researched. I wasn't convinced by the narrator. Too many attempts at different accents but overall not a bad book. Worth a try if anyone like Australian True Crime.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 09-12-17

great read

Great read based on interviews and facts. It shows up the Australian media as being a bunch of attention grabbing idiots willing to print a story at any cost. Joanna Lees is one brave woman.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • "ezywalker"
  • 08-09-17

okay

not too bad. i was on a walking tour through that area at the time. we all had to stay overnight in a remote motel.