top of page

Book Reviews

Goodreads Review

March 2023

The Messiah’s Bride

A fascinating read. My rating is based on the writer, not the story, it is a shocking story, and Norris does help the reader to see how the family fell into the cult, the reasons why they were vulnerable and how that was used against them, the generational trauma and trauma is repeated.

Kirsty

October 2015

On Father’s Day

Wow, what an incredibly sad and yet fascinating story. One cannot even begin to imagine the loss of a child, let alone three at once at the hands of their petty and vindictive father. I had seen the media reports of course, but I hadn't seen an update on the story for years. It is so easy to forget that for every horrific headline, someone has to rebuild their life. That for every news report there is a reality. This book accurately paints the portrait of Cindy's life before and after the loss, and her eventual acceptance that her Ex Husband murdered their child as revenge for their divorce. It was a compelling book, and extremely well written. I got talking to a fellow customer at the bookstore today, as she was reading Rosie Batty's new book, and once I finished this I returned to the store and gave it to one of the workers who knew the lady I was talking to, the worker and then the customer are going to read it too now. This is definitely a book that needs to be shared, and a story that shouldn't be forgotten. Five stars.

Katie

Goodreads Review

2013

On Father’s Day

It's hard to even find the words to describe this book. I've been thinking about how best to word this for a couple of days. What I can say is that if you are ever so very unfortunate enough to become a victim of a horrific crime, Megan Norris is who you want to be telling your story.

On Father's Day in 2005, three beautiful boys were murdered by their father while on an access visit. He claimed that he suffered a coughing fit while driving with his three little boys, in which he blacked out, for the very first time in his life, conveniently on a dark, isolated stretch of road and that he woke up to find the car in the middle of a 7m deep dam.

We now know that he deliberately steered the car into the exact location where it ended up, escaped the car and left it to sink with three helpless, terrified little boys inside. We know that he flagged down a passing motorist and refused to call emergency services. Instead he demanded to be taken to his ex-wife's house so that he could tell her to her face that her children were dead. He dragged the legal proceedings up to the High Court of Australia in 2013 for maximum impact.

And that's just the beginning... Norris explores the disturbing trend of fathers murdering their children in revenge attacks on their ex-wives/the mothers of their children; something that is on the rise in Australia. She delves into the psyche of somebody who would commit such a horrifying crime and does her best to advise of the 'warning signs,' (if there are any at all), using examples of events in Cindy Gambino's life, which could help other mothers out there.

Megan Norris approaches the narrative with a sensitivity that I have come to admire in her work. The way that she delicately handled Cindy Gambino's reliving of her trauma (that persists to this day) is admirable.

This book is disturbing, and some may be tempted to put it down when it gets too heavy, but it is an important book, about a discussion that Australia needs to have.

Emily Webb

Author and podcaster 

On Father's Day

A very difficult subject dealt sensitively by Megan Norris, who kept her promise to Cindy Gambino to tell they story of how her ex-husband murdered their three sons. Norris has written the exhaustive account of this horrific crime and reveals new facts about the case and the trauma that Cindy has endured since that horror Father's Day... This is an excellent book that is the best analysis I've read of the ultimate act of family violence. Norris has also talked to other victims of this unspeakable crime who wanted to lend their voices to support Cindy Gambino. No other journalist and writer has had the involvement in this case like Norris has.

I will disclose that Norris is a good friend of mine and I know how hard she worked on this book and the relationship she developed with Cindy over the years. She had unrestricted access into the life of Cindy and the utter devastation and trauma this crime has wreaked on her life and that of others.

Goodreads Review

21st September 2022

Out of the Ashes

This is an inspiring story of survival and resilience told beautifully by Megan Norris. Therese Fox is a courageous woman who demonstrates the incredible power of a mothers love and the true Australian spirit. A great read. An amazing book about the strength of the human spirit.

John Howard

Former Australian PM

September 2022

Out of the Ashes

The courage displayed by Therese Fox after the terrible injuries she suffered in the terrorist attack on Paddy’s Irish Bar in Bali is inspirational. It is an heroic example of the best of the Australian spirit. The unimaginable pain she endured over such a long period was driven by the love she had for her children and others. It should humble us all.

Stacey King

Author, Goodreads Review

25th October 2022

Out of the Ashes

What a powerful book that tells the amazing survival story of young Australian woman Therese Fox and the people responsible for saving her life in the Bali Bombings. Author Megan Norris is an experienced true crime journalist. She combines a plethora of well-researched historical facts with the human tragedy and emotions of the victims and all involved. Her passion for Therese's story is palpable on every page. Highly recommend.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

Goodreads Review

March 2023

Messiah’s Bride

‘There was no escaping God’s will in the world of William Kamm.’

I can only imagine how much courage it takes to extricate oneself from a cult, and then to seek some form of justice. In this book, Megan Norris has worked with Stefanie Hinrichs to tell the story of how she became caught up in the Doomsday cult lead by William Costellia Kamm.

Ms Norris explains how Stefanie’s family became caught up in Kamm’s cult by the promise of a better life. Kamm himself, claiming direct communication with the Virgin Mary, manipulated Stefanie (and others) into sexual relationships. Stefanie was forced to become his child bride, to be one of the multiple mystical spouses chosen to people the new promised land that Kamm established near Nowra in New South Wales.

Stefanie, forbidden to talk to anyone about the relationship, kept a diary. Her notes in that diary helped to bring Kamm to justice. Sort of. After serving nine years of his 10-year sentence, Kamm was released on parole in November 2014. In November 2021, he was back in custody after allegedly contacting teenage girls via social media, with the court hearing that he allegedly used his wife’s Facebook account to send messages to the females. Kamm was charged with four counts of failing to comply with a supervision order. On 22 November 2022, Kamm faced a court in Sydney. He pleaded guilty and was released with time served after spending a year and six days on remand. Despite all of this, Kamm still has some followers. Sigh.

It is not easy to read this book. Ms Norris explains how Stefanie’s mother became caught up in the cult and how, believing in Kamm’s representation of himself as a messiah, allowed him to both ‘marry’ (he was already legally married) her older daughter Bettina as well as Stefanie.

I finished this book pleased that Stefanie has made a new life for herself and her son Kilian and convinced that William Kamm will remain a danger to others while he remains alive.

Ken Vernon Journalist/Author

Goodreads Review

March 2023

Messiah's Bride

Disturbing reading

Australia has been lucky in that we have by and large been spared from lunatic pedophiles like "Little Pebbles" and reading this book is one way to stay free. The book takes the reader into a world so few of us can even begin to imagine - that of young girls delivered into the clutches of the devil masquerading as a saint. Factual, detailed, shorn of hyperbole and a gazillion adjectives, this is true long-form journalism at its best.

Every parent needs to read this book.

Catherine Wallace

Principal Lawyer at Wallaceweir, Family and Commercial Lawyers

July  2023

Look What you Made Me Do

To think that in less than eight years from its original release, Megan Norris has been armed with more horrific accounts of family violence here in Australia to warrant an updated version of Look What You Made Me Do. Whilst I agree that ‘the system’ is flawed and doesn’t do enough, I have spent countless hours talking with colleagues and other professionals about solutions – we have yet to find one. I commend Megan for her continued efforts to bring this issue to the forefront of people’s attention and I truly hope that a solution will be found – the sooner the better!

Dr Debbie Kirkwood

Author of Just Say Goodbye and former researcher for the  Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria.

July 2023

Look What You Made Me Do

Megan Norris has been a trailblazer, drawing attention to men who kill their children as the ultimate form of violence against their partners when they seek to leave them. The events so accurately described in this book are the extreme end of a continuum of violence against women and children. They provide powerful insights into widespread patterns of power and control, and the profound harms that can result. Despite significant efforts to prevent family violence in Australia, the fact that these brutal and unnecessary deaths continue to occur in the same ways and for the same reasons, shows we still have a long way to go to ensure that women and children are free from the violence of the men in their families.

Vikki Petraitis

Award-Winning

Author / Podcaster

Look What You Made Me Do

For over a decade, Megan Norris has been a strong voice in the family violence space. Her book, Look What You Made Me  Do – the title of one of many blaming statements through the pages – is one of the most powerful true crime books I have ever read. With thorough research and a gentle hand, she tells the story of women devasted by the violence ex-partners inflict on their children as ‘payback’. This haunting book can teach us so much about the signs we must all look out for, and about the failings of the system that allows this to keep happening.

July 2023

Emily Webb

True Crime 

Author / Podcaster

Look What You Made Me Do

Is an essential read to understand family violence. Megan’s decades of work covering cases of fathers murdering their children in retaliatory homicides aimed at punishing their former partners, is harrowing but also trailblazing. She calls out these unimaginable acts for what they are – cruel, calculating and misogyny in its most extreme form.

Judging panel from Sisters in Crime Australia’s Davitt Awards Best Non-Fiction Book

2016

Look What You Made Me Do 1st. Edition

An important book that shines a light on the dark topic and advocates for victim-centric approaches to addressing violence against women, holding men accountable for their role and responsibility to change their behaviour.

Michelle Steck

Survivor / Anti-domestic Violence Campaigner

2023

Look What You Made Me Do 

It’s not always easy to open your emotionally crippling wounds for everyone to absorb, but I have shared my story openly as the circumstances are too important to be forgotten. Women like me are the voices who have carried pain in our hearts and cry every time we see another family on the news that may have been saved. We hope, through this book, you will hear our voices and have the courage to really listen.

Mark Woolley

Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation Chair

2023

Look What You Made Me Do 

It’s not always easy to open your emotionally crippling wounds for everyone to absorb, but I have shared my story openly as the circumstances are too important to be forgotten. Women like me are the voices who have carried pain in our hearts and cry every time we see another family on the news that may have been saved. We hope, through this book, you will hear our voices and have the courage to really listen.

 is an emotionally gripping retelling of women’s experiences with family and domestic violence that are far too common. But it is through sharing these stories that we are able to lift the sense of shame that clouds victim-survivors, and debunk the myths around intimacy, power and control to truly u understand the forms DFV can take. Each chapter is written with sensitivity and grace, and stays with the reader long after the final page is turned. We must continue to tell these stories to create change and push for law reform.

Mark Woolley, Small Steps 4 Hannah Foundation Chair

bottom of page