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Neil Mercer in conversation with Kate McClymont

Event description


The Kingpin and the Crooked Cop is the definitive account of Roger and Neddy, and the era that made them. As compelling as any crime novel, it is filled with colour, violence and inside stories never seen or read before.

On Thursday 1st August at The Royal Oak, Balmain, join Neil Mercer in conversation with Kate McClymont.

Copies of The Kingpin and The Crooked Cop will be available for purchase at the venue through Roaring Stories, with Mercer signing copies after the discussion.

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Attendees are asked to arrive at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. Seating is unallocated – another reason to arrive early to secure an optimal spot. Why not make a full evening of it, too, by ordering a meal at the Royal Oak before or after the event? One of Balmain's oldest and most loved pubs, it serves a delicious range of food and beverages.

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Roger Rogerson captured Australia's attention as its most notorious cop in the golden age of graft and violence. But who was the real Rogerson? And who was his principal partner in crime, the underworld kingpin, heroin dealer and armed bandit Arthur 'Neddy' Smith? Now Rogerson and Smith are both dead, and the full truth can be revealed.

Roger and Neddy have fascinated the public for decades. Our most decorated yet crooked police officer and the murderous drug importer he protected and enabled led interwoven careers that were truly stranger than fiction. Their crimes were committed against the backdrop of a changing Australia, as the nation's social fabric adapted to a more global world, and money - and drugs - poured into the country. Police, judges and even the media were up for sale, and Rogerson and Smith were the princes of this glamorous but bloody kingdom.

But as Roger and Neddy grew ever richer and more powerful, their crimes became too brazen, too violent and too public, leading to their spectacular downfall, years in court and life in prison. Crime reporter Neil Mercer knew Roger and Neddy from the early 1980s, when the men were at the height of their powers. He followed their careers for major news outlets, met with them and was given exclusive interviews and insider information. Rogerson even wrote to him from jail. With key witnesses finally coming forward, Mercer has uncovered astonishing new evidence that will rewrite the story of the Australian underworld.

The Kingpin and the Crooked Cop
is the definitive account of Roger and Neddy, and the era that made them. As compelling as any crime novel, it is filled with colour, violence and inside stories never seen or read before.

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Neil Mercer has been a print and television journalist for more than 45 years. He started his career as a cadet reporter on the West Australian and has also written for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph and the Sydney Morning Herald. His first job in television was as a producer for 60 Minutes before moving to the ABC's Four Corners as an on-camera reporter. Neil was a presenter on Channel Seven's 11AM, Today Tonight, The Times and Face to Face. He was also the leader of the ABC's National Reporting Team responsible for the network's television, radio and digital investigations. Neil is the winner of a Walkley Award and a NSW Law Society Award for Excellence in Legal Reporting. He is the author of Fate: Inside the Backpacker Murders Investigation and co-author, with Ruby Jones, of Barrenjoey Road. Neil lives in Sydney with his wife Rebecca Le Tourneau, a documentary producer.

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Award winning journalist Kate McClymont is chief investigative reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.

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Please note that tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled or postponed due to extenuating circumstances. Refunds are not issued within 48 hours notice of event date. Humanitix fee is nonrefundable.

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This event is presented by Roaring Stories Bookshop Balmain and Allen and Unwin. 

With thanks to our venue partner The Royal Oak.

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