A portrait of crime in 1950s Sydney suburbia

Think of 1950s Sydney and its crime, and you might think of clever cold war spies and sophisticated mafia men of organised gangs.

Professor Peter Doyle, Honorary Associate Professor of Media at Macquarie University, has spent many years exploring police archives of the time, and what he found paints a different picture.

Despite the social upheaval of the 1950s and 60s, Professor Doyle’s research suggests that crime was mostly small-time and dead-end, and that the birth of modern forensics captured the melancholy of suburban life.

His latest book Suburban Noir, which explores his findings, is out now, from UNSW Press.

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