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The Killer’s Game

Murder, Lies and Stolen Lives

(12 customer reviews)
Authors: Jane Smith
Bushrangers, true Crime
153mm x 230mm

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Exposing Captain Starlight’s twisted life of crime and deceit. Who was ‘Captain Starlight’?

When a respectable public servant dies suddenly under suspicious circumstances, the authorities are baffled. Who really was the dead man? Was he an Irish nobleman fallen on hard times – or a conman, a forger, a serial impostor, a killer?

As an investigation peels back the layers of deception, aliases and lies, a bizarre chain of events is revealed, exposing the deceased as a man guilty of a string of audacious crimes spanning decades – crimes including identity theft and murder.

In The Killer’s Game, Jane Smith has pieced together the scattered clues to the dead man’s background, uncovering the true story of the life and crimes of the 19th-century enigma once known as Frank Pearson – or Captain Starlight.

Jane Smith

Jane Smith

Jane Smith, an accomplished author, archivist, editor and librarian, is dedicated to resurrecting captivating tales from history’s depths for readers of all ages. With a prolific portfolio spanning fiction and non-fiction since 2014, Jane has published over twenty books with a historical focus. Jane’s works have received national acclaim and earned multiple prestigious literary award […]

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12 reviews for The Killer’s Game

  1. ‘What a phenomenal true crime/who-dunnit!… It’s an amazing true story of lies, deception, and surprising twists you won’t forget!’

  2. ‘Required meticulous research and a desire to dig into the life and times of a man with a mysterious background and a talent for trickery.’

  3. ‘I found the story of Captain Starlight fascinating. As the book progressed it stripped layers off “Frank” and we got to know this man’s character fairly well. But who was he really? And where did he come from? The research that has gone into this book is phenomenal and a great read for those who are interested in bushrangers or Australian history.’

  4. ‘You have to admire the research involved. Certainly a story for historical buffs.’

  5. ‘I love this book! Incredibly well-researched, and beautifully written. This is one I’m going to recommend to my friends.’

  6. ‘A great read’

  7. ‘An intriguing, colourful tale’

  8. ‘While most historians and authors have been more inclined to write about the Kelly’s, Ben Hall or Frank Gardiner, Smith’s decision to chronicle the life of the notorious Frank Pearson has gifted bushranger enthusiasts a detailed account of a frequently forgotten figure. The ability to put her resources to use in nailing down the narrative of a renowned conman, notable for his use of aliases, demonstrates her formidable prowess as a historian.’

  9. I loved this book!
    I confess I’d not heard of Captain Starlight until I read The Killer’s Game. His story is as intriguing as it is bizarre, and if all history was presented this way, I would consume more of it.
    It is clear this book is the culmination of extensive and meticulous research. I can’t imagine the effort that went into piecing together the puzzle of this man’s life but it is expertly done. Though the focus is on the mysterious Captain Starlight, I also enjoyed the insights into all the other ‘characters’.
    The writing style is engaging and evocative, informative and unbiased. It neither celebrates nor denigrates bushrangers – it merely presents a story of the time. For me, this is the ideal way to learn about history.

  10. The author, Jane Smith, has created a meticulously well-researched, engaging account of a colonial conman. The author’s descriptions of the many characters in and out of the life of Captain Starlight are painted not only with the facts but by her ability to bring the settings alive as well. Phrases such as ‘whiskered with eucalypts and circling black kites’ (page 137) carried the reader to the landscapes where rather enterprising deeds were enacted.
    It was enlivening to see the author’s craft in keeping track of the many aliases and the crimes and the victims. It was a very clever game the killer played and it has been very cleverly captured in this book. Highly recommended.

  11. I love this book, the author Jane Smith’s attention to detail and meticulous research provide a perfect biography of the life and times of the complex and enigmatic Captain Starlight. I found this book hard to put down, informative, easy to read and it left me wanting more. Praise for Jane Smith!

  12. The extraordinary story of his life as Jane attempts to unravel fact from fiction will have you enthralled from the first page in this true crime who-dunnit.

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