In 2003, Adam Shand, until then a finance journalist, naively set out to unravel Melbourne's bloody gangland wars. A few months' research, a guaranteed cover story. But his foray into the underworld took him deeper than that. He became embroiled in a complex world where feuds raged between rival families, and where a new generation was clashing with the criminal Establishment. Before long, he found himself counted as a friend by those who sometimes ended friendships with a hail of bullets.
In this fully updated edition, taking in the events of 2010, including the murder of Carl Williams, Big Shots takes the reader into the heart of the city's multibillion-dollar 'disorganised crime' scene, as Shand meets the key figures and suspects, including Carl and Roberta Williams, Mick Gatto and many others. He discovers the human drama behind the brutal slayings that were splashed across the front pages, and in the process comes to question his objectivity.
'Shand's effort is a real masterpiece. A standout in the literary true-crime genre, it gives us both a feel for the participants and their crimes but also delves into the murky side of journalism as Shand worries that he's getting far too close to his subjects. If you haven't read Big Shots yet, you're missing out – it's possibly Australia's best true-crime book ever' – Illawarra Mercury