** Shortlisted, The Age Book of the Year Award 2023, Non-fiction **
** Shortlisted, The Danger Awards 2023, Non-fiction **
Nothing in the post-war decades reveals the underbelly of Australian life the way police records do.
Small time heists. Failed robberies. Runs of bad luck. Payback. Love gone wrong. Drink, drugs and late-night assignations. Cops doing their job well. And badly. Plausible lies, unlikely truths. Murder and misadventure. In Suburban Noir Peter Doyle – author of City of Shadows and Crooks Like Us – explores the everyday crime and catastrophe that went on in the fibro and brick veneers, the backyards, bedrooms, vacant lots and pokie palaces of 1950s and 1960s Sydney suburbia.
Extensive research into forensic archives, public records and the private papers of the late Brian Doyle (1960s detective, later assistant commissioner of police, and Peter Doyle’s uncle) also reveals important new information about two of the most famous crimes in Australian history – the Kingsgrove Slasher case and the Graeme Thorne kidnap-murder.
'A fabulous insight into violent crimes of the 1950s and 1960s through the eyes of one of Australia's then top cops, Brian Doyle, as interpreted and related by his nephew, true-crime writer, curator and crime aficionado, Peter Doyle. Often accompanied by great photos and drawings, each story is a gem that highlights the differences in criminal activity and police investigations in those days. Well researched and eminently readable.' — Mark Tedeschi
'A beautifully written and illustrated book about crime and crime scenes in Sydney during the 1950s and ’60s, some of them involving the author’s famous uncle, the detective Brian Doyle. It is a fascinating snapshot of the culture of Australia in those years, describing in words and images the cars, clothes, architecture, music, drugs, language and prejudice of the period. At times engrossing, macabre, absurdly funny and sadly shabby. The pictures are a mixture of crime scene photographs and Peter Doyle’s finely rendered pencil and ink versions of some of these photographs.' — Reg Mombasa
'With these shocking, at times heartbreaking, stories of very bad things happening to ordinary people, our foremost crime chronicler Peter Doyle shines his forensic spotlight on the schemers, slashers, killers and cops who have always lurked in the shadows of sunny Sydney suburbia.' — Larry Writer, author of Underbelly Razor: Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and The Razor Gangs
'Suburban Noir brings a hidden Sydney to vivid life, deep-diving into the forensic record to reveal a mid-century suburbia of undercurrents, secrets and lives gone astray. Meticulously attentive, compassionate and humorous: no one writes crime like Peter Doyle.' — Vanessa Berry
‘I devoured this book, which will appeal to lovers of Sydney’s history and to fans of Teju Cole’s Small Fates. Doyle writes about the way small flashes of violence reveal the id beneath the city’s ordinary places. Most excitingly, he insists that crime scene photography has its own moral aesthetic, bearing witness to sites where darkness has already won.’ — Delia Falconer
'In lucid, inventive yet artless prose, Doyle reveals Australian mid-century suburbia — specifically Sydney’s south-west — in a whole new light. Suburban Noir is a grainy, lyrical excavation of a landscape that might appear familiar to those who lived through it, or who have seen its myriad mostly idealised representations on screen.' — Fiona Kelly McGregor
'Peter Doyle’s Suburban Noir is one of the most fascinating books I have read all year.' — Jeff Popple, Canberra Weekly
'From being in the wrong place at the wrong time to planned cases, Doyle meticulously and circumspectly lifts the rug on suburbia.' — The Sydney Morning Herald
'A book that’s anything but a typical true-crime tale — and is all the more fascinating for it.' — The West Australian