Vikki Petraitis has been a crime writer for 25 years and in that time she has written 14 true crime books. Inside the Law captures her legacy with an overview of her most interesting and lauded cases and how she came to write them.
Vikki is a friend and she told me that a reader contacted her after reading this book and wanted to make a movie about her life, and what a movie it would be. As a 24 year-old full time primary school teacher and mother of a two year old she felt the writing bug. During a professional development session she heard about a case that captured her imagination and decided to write about it. So she contacted the police and started her interviews and research. And then she submitted her book to a publisher and got a contract. And so the Phillip Island Murder book was written, a case that still captures the public's attention.
Her second most known case was The Frankston Serial Killer, a book she wrote that no one wanted to touch. She has maintained friendships with the victims connected to the case and engages in activism to support them and ensure that Paul Denyer remains in jail.
Petraitis is a writer who was always before her time. She was writing about institutional child sex abuse long before the Royal Commission and gave voice to victims when no one else would in Rockspider.
I found Inside the Law a riveting read. While I had always admired Vikki's achievements reading about her writing journey and the twists and turns it has taken really had me turning the pages. I'd already read The Frankston Serial Killer, and didn't sleep well that night as I was haunted by the images of Denyer's crimes, but my curiosity is awakened and I want to delve deeper into her backlist and find out more about the cases that she has written about.
This is a perfect read for True Crime lovers and anyone who wants to be a True Crime writer. Vikki has a way of writing from the perspective of the people she has interviewed and capturing their mindset with intimacy while feeding the reader all the details that True Crime fans love.
Amra Pajalić is an award-winning author, an editor and teacher who draws on her Bosnian cultural heritage to write own voices stories for young people, who like her, are searching to mediate their identity and take pride in their diverse culture. She writes memoir, young adult and romance under the pen name Mae Archer.
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