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Publisher's Summary

Now a Major Motion Picture

A true story of death, grief and the law from the 2019 winner of the Australia Council Award for Lifetime Achievement in Literature. 

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. 

It is a masterwork from one of Australia's greatest writers.

Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Best True Crime 2005

Winner of the ABIA Book of the Year 2004 

©2019 Helen Garner (P)2019 Macmillan Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"Garner's book is a writer's profound response to a tragedy and to questions about human responsibility over time as well as at precise moments." (The Age)

"This is a work of great passion and of countervailing humanity - a book of witness..." (Australian Book Review)

What listeners say about Joe Cinque's Consolation

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Heartbreaking. So touched.

Whoever could forget Joe Cinque after reading this? No justice for him and his family. Thank you for your courage.

1 person found this helpful

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Not what I thought it would be

Was a little disappointed in this book, thought it would have been a bit more insight to Joe and the actual crime, investigations,etc. Instead it was more a story about the author her own issues at the time of the court proceedings and her interactions with the families.

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Not a lawyer’s book

I read this as a lawyer and found the trial descriptions lacking in legal detail relevant to the decisions, as opposed to the emotional reactions of the author. Interesting all the same to see a lay person’s reaction to the clinic trial process we can all become addicted to. Glad I listened to it.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.