Three Crooked Kings

by Matthew Condon

Journalist and novelist Matthew Condon has crafted the definitive account—a searing story of greed, crime, and corruption—of an era that changed Queensland society; an impact that reverberates across the country to this day. In 1949, a young Terence Murray Lewis graduated from the police academy, ready to start his career in law enforcement. Over the next four decades, he rose to the pinnacle of power as the knighted Commissioner of Police in Queensland before his spectacular downfall and imprisonment after the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s. This book follows Lewis’ journey through the ranks, as he becomes part of the so-called Rat Pack with detectives Glenn Hallahan and Tony Murphy under the guiding influence of Commissioner Frank Bischof. The alleged suicide of prostitute and brothel madam Shirley Brifman in the early 1970s provides the turning point for a culture that reigned unchecked for several decades. It was part of a grand narrative teeming with murder, pay-offs, political machinations, drug heists, assisted suicides, police in-fighting, and a complicated system of corruption that ultimately collapsed under its own weight. Based on unprecedented interviews with Terry Lewis and access to his personal papers, this book is the missing piece in the puzzle of the story of Queensland’s endemic generational corruption.


  • University of Queensland Press; April 2013
  • ISBN: 9780702249105
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Three Crooked Kings
  • Author: Matthew Condon
  • Imprint: University of Queensland Press

About The Author

Matthew Condon is a prize-winning Australian novelist and journalist. He is currently on staff with the Courier-Mail’s Qweekend magazine and previously worked for leading newspapers and journals including the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Age. He is also the author of 10 books of fiction, including The Ancient Guild of Tycoons, Brisbane, and The Lulu Magnet, and The Trout Opera.