Gambling for Love by John Killick

Killick is a career criminal and jailbird, best known for escaping from Silverwater prison in 1999 in a helicopter hijacked at gunpoint by his girlfriend Lucy Dudko. This book covers his life only to 1973 and is a boring record of a typical criminal’s life, with a sometimes violent childhood followed by occasional crime sprees leading to very long prison stretches. These included a long period in the notorious H Wing at Melbourne’s Pentridge.

It’s curious anyone thought this would make an interesting book, and yet its tedium is perhaps its saving quality, as it gives a more accurate record of a typical crook’s life than the memoirs of more successful exponents.

Notwithstanding its title, the book contains little about either gambling or love. It does demonstrate those typical characteristics of many criminals, a lack of the capacity to think ahead and delay gratification, and indeed a lack of much self-knowledge at all. Whenever the young Karrick struck a problem, he assumed the solution was to get money by robbing someone, despite the growing evidence that this did not work for him.

Probably of more interest to the student of crime than the general reader.