Books & Literature

The Singh Murders, by Dr Dianne McInnes

TRUE CRIME: Police were looking at a triple homicide in a quiet Brisbane suburb. What unfolded would become the longest murder trial in Queensland history. According to some experts, however, there remains a number of questions that still, almost 20 years later, do not have answers.

An in depth look at the Singh Family murders trial but I was left with more questions than answers.
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Image credit: New Holland Publishers

What is it about Australian true crime that has got everyone hooked?  There’s just something about knowing what drives everyday people living among us to commit murder that is so intriguing, so when I heard a book had been written about the Singh Murders, I was eager to have a read.

On a quiet Tuesday afternoon in April 2003, in a nice suburb in Brisbane’s north, the bodies of the Singh siblings Neelma, 24, Kunal, 18, and Sidhi, 12, were found in an overflowing spa bath. The person who discovered the bodies and made the triple zero call was Max Sica, who Neelma had had an on-again off-again relationship with. Their parents received the devasting news while they were attending to business in their native Fiji and jumped on the next plane home.

Due to his shady past and incriminating behaviour after the murders, Sica was naturally looked at as a potential suspect, however the evidence didn’t support this theory. What followed was one of longest murder trials in Queensland Supreme Court history. Even after a conviction, many questions are left unanswered and the case has people wondering even now: Did they arrest the right person for this hideous crime?

To be honest, this book left me underwhelmed. It mainly covers the court case and gives an insight into the lives of the main suspect and victims’ family. However, the readers don’t find out much about the victims. Therefore, while I can only imagine the fear they must have felt on that fateful day, it is hard to connect to the victims, especially the two younger siblings, as I feel I learnt nothing about their personality and interests. It lacks human emotion and feels a bit clinical. Additionally, I found the content gets quite repetitive, so much so I had to keep checking if I was re-reading the same chapter again, which caused me to lose interest.

The Singh children’s parents are also hard to warm to, with mention of domestic violence, extramarital affairs, and illegal business dealings. But just because a family lives an unconventional life, does that put a target on their backs for murder? Or was this just a random attack?

The Singh Murders was written by Dr Dianne McInnes, who covered the crime and the evidence presented in court, so you get a real behind-the-scenes look at the case and learn information that the jurors weren’t even privy to. Overall, she presents an unbiased account of the events leading up to the trial, the court case, and the aftermath.

Reviewed by Karlie Naulty

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not necessarily of Glam Adelaide.

Distributed by‏:‎ New Holland Publishers
Published: September 2022
RRP: $29.99

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