Ned Kelly by Peter Fitzsimons

nedkelly

 

 

Makes American Outlaws seem tame……   *****

This is an amazing story. Not only is it well written and well documented, Fitzsimons narrates in a way that makes you feel you are living and seeing this true saga as it is happening.

The story of Ned Kelly and what happened to his family shows how some things have not changed. Impoverished, Kelly turns to horse stealing to augment his family’s needs. He is falsely accused of shooting a constable who had made advances to his sister. His mother, who did hit the constable is incarcerated. This leads to Kelly commiting further crimes and is considered an outlaw.  When a small posse is sent after him, he shoots one of them in self defense. Because of crooked lawmen, bad judges, and a poor defense lawyer he is convicted of cold blooded murder and hung for a crime he did not commit. His trial is an uncanny parallel to what happened recently to Steve Avery,  documented in The Making of A Murderer.

The characters are compelling, evoking emotions from sympathy to disgust. The epilogue gives an excellent wrap up of what happened to each person in this story after Kelly’s hanging. Ironically, the two concerns Ned Kelly had while alive, the corrupt police and the rich land grabbers, are both addressed by the government because of his case. Just too late to have saved him.

This is a page turner, and while lengthy, I didn’t notice the length, and it kept me engrossed until the end.

This one gets five stars.

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