#aww2020 · 2020 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · 2020 Reviews · Australian · crime · non-fiction · true crime

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Missing William Tyrrell by Caroline Overington

pop sugar 2020 30 April

Today I am marking off my fifteenth #15 checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:

a book about or by a journalist

One minute a little boy is playing outside his foster nana’s house, the next minute, missing william tyrrell smallhe’s gone. How can a three year old child simply disappear?

On Friday 12 September 2014, William Tyrrell – a playful three-year-old boy dressed in a fire-engine red Spider-Man suit – disappears from a quiet street in broad daylight. It’s assumed he’s lost in the nearby bushland, but despite an intensive search, he’s not found, and police start to suspect he’s been abducted. No trace of William – not a shoe, not a hair – has ever been found, but now is not the time to surrender. How can a little boy just vanish? We have to find him.

From best-selling author and Walkley Award-winning journalist, Caroline Overington, Missing William Tyrrell is a moving and compelling exploration of one of Australia’s most baffling and heartbreaking mysteries.


Images of the bright eyed little boy in a Spider-Man suit have been beamed across our nation since William Tyrrell tragically disappeared on Friday 12th September 2014. With an ongoing investigation and a court process, there has been an army of Australians working to solve this case. Award winning journalist and author Caroline Overington provides her insight on the case in Missing William Tyrrell

Missing William Tyrrell is 2020 Harper Collins publication, penned by Caroline Overington, a recipient of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism. It carefully examines all avenues of the case of a little boy who was playing on the porch of his foster Nana’s house, acting like a tiger, when he seemingly disappeared into thin air. With no witnesses to disappearance and no evidence providing clues as to William’s whereabouts, the police were faced with investigating a very unusual case. The nature of the disappearance, the location and time continues to baffle authorities. With many joining arms from the time William disappeared to help track him down, despite a lengthy and widespread search, William has never been recovered. Speculation began as to whether or not a planned abduction took place. With no clues, evidence or conclusive leads, the hunt is still on to bring William home.

The heartbreaking disappearance of a three year old boy is the focal subject of Caroline Overington’s investigative piece, Missing William Tyrrell. Drawing on her well received podcast series, Nowhere Child, Overington has compiled a book that delves a little deeper into this complex and unsolved case. I read Missing William Tyrrell in just a twenty four hour turn around, which is testament to the writing of the author and the pull of this case.

It is hard not to get emotional about the William Tyrell case, knowing how many lives have been shattered by his disappearance. Caroline Overington is a mother of twins, but she is also a highly experienced journalist. Overington puts on her investigative hat and approaches this case with a steady hand, guiding the reader through a series of information, facts, insights and theories. However, there is no definitive answer as to what really happened to William that September day, over five years ago now.

Missing William Tyrrell is structured into seventeen chapters that delve into many facets of this case. We receive an incredibly detailed blow by blow account of the day, from various sets of eyes. We discover information about William’s biological parents, grandparents, his foster carers, the foster system, key figures in the case, neighbours, suspects, police personnel and advocates for Williams’s case. It makes for an interesting and full read. While reading Missing William Tyrrell some new information came to light, while other areas were already known to me via news reels. Overington builds a number of different scenarios as to what may have happened to little William, which ranges from a foul play, an accident that was covered up and a pedophile ring among others. But nothing is clear cut, or conclusive about this truly baffling case.

The added insertion of a photograph collection in the centre of the book puts a heartbreaking, emotional and human face to this case. An Acknowledgements section closes off Overington’s book, providing a glimpse into the range of sources and manpower assigned to this case and book. All in all,  although there are no answers as to this ongoing case provided by Overington, it is clear that the fight to recover young William continues.

‘Nobody wants to quit. Not while William is still missing. Because can you not feel him all around us? He waits for us to find him. We must all at some point say goodbye to those we loved, or else they must say goodbye to us. He deserves this.’

**** 4 stars

Missing William Tyrrell by Caroline Overington was published on February 24th 2020 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Missing William Tyrrell, Caroline Overington, visit here.

Missing William Tyrrell is book #50 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

8 thoughts on “POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Missing William Tyrrell by Caroline Overington

  1. Ooh, you’re flying through your Popsugar challenge categories… so awesome! Gosh, this book sounds like a hard read. I remember the William Tyrell case, so sad. You chose a great author for this category. I really wish I had time to read another book of hers so far I’ve only read I Came to Say Goodbye.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue! I have managed to get ahead on typing them up and storing in word but not publishing so I should be almost set for this month. School has returned and this week was one of the strangest weeks I have encountered in my teaching career so I went three days without reading whatsoever, so all my efforts to get ahead may have fallen in a heap! Anyway, this book was very well written, it is hard not to get upset by the case though. I do love Caroline’s so this book was a natural choice for this category. Wow, you have many books ahead of you to enjoy. I can recommend a few if you like!


      1. That’s terrific, wish I was that organised! Oh, that doesn’t sound too good, you have aroused my curiosity, especially that it kept you from reading for 3 days, that’s kind of a long time to not pick up a book. Just when you’re doing so well reading/review wise, life throws you a curveball. Bit of a bummer.

        Yes please, I will eventually read them all and I do like reading in published order but if they are all stand alone books then it doesn’t matter what order I read them in so I would love for you to tell me which one is amazing that I should pick up first.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I always feel like you are far more organised than me lol! I think I will be falling behind now we are back to school every day seems to bring new changes, it is hard to get my head around it and it really has turned my job upside down! Hence some evenings I’ve been too exhausted to pick a book up.

        I’ve loved many of Caroline’s books but the two the stand out were Sisters of Mercy and Ghost Child. I was hooked! Happy reading when you get to these!


  2. I am putting this book on my wanted list. Sounds like a good read and journalists usually do thorough research and write pretty good books.


  3. Oh ok, yeah it wouldn’t be easy to work 5 days a week knowing the virus is still out there, I’m praying that you stay safe and well and that there are not too many changes concerning school.

    Thanks so much for that I will add those two books by Caroline to the top of my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, with no cases over here things are looking up, many things school wise here are returning to normal. Thanks for thinking of me x

      Great to hear you have added those books1


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