2017 Reviews · Australian · biography · true crime

Book Review: The Good Cop by Justine Ford

Title: The Good Copthe-good-cop

Author: Justine Ford

Published: July 26th 2016

Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia

Pages: 368

Genres:  Biography,  True Crime

RRP: $34.99

Rating: 4 stars

‘A – Assume nothing. B – Believe nothing. C – Check everything.’ Ron Iddles

In an incredible twenty-five year career as a homicide detective, Ron Iddles’ conviction rate was 99%. Yet that only partly explains why Iddles is known to cops and crims alike as ‘The Great Man’.

Tough, inventive and incorruptible, stoic in the face of senseless horror yet unafraid to shed tears for a victim, Ron has applied his country cunning and city savvy to over 320 homicide cases – some of them the most infamous, compelling and controversial crimes in the nation’s history. To the victims of crime, Ron is both a shoulder to cry on and an avenging angel.

Ron Iddles never gave up on a ‘lost’ cause. He became a regular on the nightly news – the dogged face of Australian justice. Working long hours, dodging bullets, chasing leads and outwitting killers, Ron would tell his teams: ‘The answer is just one call away’. And in 2015, that belief saw him crack Victoria’s oldest unsolved homicide, yet another remarkable feat in a life devoted to keeping the public safe.

This is the extraordinary inside story of a real crime crusader. Ron Iddles. The Good Cop.

My review:

Australian true crime writer and journalist Justine Ford, leads the pack when it comes to the delivery of insightful, honest and respectful crime stories. Ford’s latest release again displays her ability to penetrate the very heart of a crime story. At the front and centre of The Good Cop is Ron Iddles, Australia’s most celebrated detective and community leader. The Good Cop combines Ford’s strength of storytelling in the true crime field, to inform the audience of the extraordinary life of Ron Iddles.

The Good Cop is a biography that combines a decorated career, with the mechanics of police procedures. It also takes a personal turn, delving into the country based upbringing of Ron Iddles. This gives the reader a good sense of where Iddles came from and how these early experiences living in a farming community helped to shape who he is today. The Good Cop details how Ron Iddles was inspired as a young man to become a detective, after many days spent watching the 1960’s television series Homicide. The book’s personal side to this hardworking man’s story, extends to his all important relationship with his wife, Colleen. Ford examines Ron’s marriage, his early days training as an officer and later his work as a detective. Ford helps the reader gain a solid picture of the struggles this man had, balancing his time as a successful police officer, with his family life. Later in his career, we learn how Ron needed time away from his gut wrenching work. He found solace in long distance truck and coach driving. However, the pull to his career and the motivation in solving so many crimes with such a high success rate, ultimately drew Ron Iddles back to the force.

In The Good Cop, Ford takes the reader deep inside some of Australia’s homicides and notorious crimes, through cataloguing Iddles twenty five year reign. Iddles work in the homicide division enabled him to come into contact with many high profile crime figures, such as Gangland suspects Carl Williams and Mark “Chopper” Read. Iddles also worked closely with many families of victims, such as the Jill Meagher family. No matter what the case, what is blindingly obvious, is that Iddles approach to any crime was almost uniformed. Iddles would always ensure that he was respectful to the victims, as well as perpetrators of a crime, giving them the time needed to have their stories aired, without judgement. This became one of the most important factors in Iddles high success rate in cracking his cases. The Good Cop provides a comprehensive look at the other people who have entered Ron’s life and held impact. These include his first boss, colleagues and members of the public he has helped.  All these stories offer an interesting glimpse into a man who has devoted his life to keeping Australia safe.

The Good Cop is a highly readable biography that offers a respectful, as well as an informative dedication to a man who has spent so many years of his life serving the Australian community. For those who enjoy the finer details of the important work our police and detective divisions conduct, this book is bound to hold you captive.

The Good Cop by Justine Ford was published in July 2016 by Pan Macmillan Australia.

3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Good Cop by Justine Ford

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever read a true crime book, they scare the pants off me especially when the author describes the murderer and the murders – always a horrific picture is painted. Too much reality for me! But I’m adding this book to my list because this one seems more to do with an extraordinary detective rather than horrific crime stories.
    Excellent review, Amanda!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Sue 🙂 I do recommend Aussie true crime Sue, though it can be a bit hair raising reading before bed! I would say The Good Cop leans more on a biography of a really interesting man with an equally interesting career to match. Glad to hear you will give this one a go – very worth it!


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