The Teacher’s Pet

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On Wednesday 5th of December, Chris Dawson was arrested in Queensland for the alleged 1982 murder of his wife Lyn Dawson. The disappearance has been the focus of the podcast ‘The Teacher’s Pet‘ by journalist Hedley Thomas for The Australian. I have been an avid listener of this podcast, but Dawson’s arrest has raised potential problems with podcasts like this, namely someone’s right to the presumption of innocence.

‘The Teacher’s Pet’ podcast has been a huge source of information and new leads that Thomas has unearthed have apparently been instrumental in securing Dawson’s arrest. Given the podcast was an investigation into the disappearance of Lyn Dawson and not a trial, Thomas endeavoured to present the facts as succinctly, clearly and as unbiasedly as possible. All the leads he investigated and found, from witness statements to the fact Dawson moved his teenage lover into the marital home just days after Lyn Dawson disappeared, seem to paint a clear picture of Dawson’s guilt.

Someone’s right to the presumption of innocence, which is an intrinsic part of our legal system, can be hard to keep in mind when their actions have been brought to light, and I suspect this is the case for many people, including myself, in regard to Dawson. The details of domestic violence and an explosive temper, the fact he was part of a ring of teachers in the northern beaches of Sydney who regularly preyed on their teenage students, moved his teenage lover into the marital home days after Lyn disappeared, as well as the numerous other facts that have been discovered by Thomas, paint the picture of a violent man who was used to getting his way. Combined with the miscarriage of justice that has occurred due to the action and inaction of the police and the DPP over the years, it is easy to be glad that he has been arrested and to assume that the trial will end with his conviction and imprisonment.

However, Dawson’s lawyer Greg Walsh, has pointed out that the sheer popularity of the podcast and Thomas’ meticulous research could impact the trial. The caveat that someone is innocent until proven guilty, and unfortunately the level of interest in this case means that in the minds of the public Dawson is guilty. The sheer amount of evidence certainly points this way but as Walsh said in his interview with the media today, this can potentially influence the memories and statements of witnesses. Adding to this is the fact that this case has become so well-known that it can easily be said that there may be some trouble finding people who have limited knowledge of the disappearance and case when the trial starts. Lyn Dawson has been missing for almost 37 years and it would a tragedy if the very thing that has led to Dawson’s arrest is the thing that may impact his trial and cause something to go wrong.

There are numerous crime and cold case podcasts (I’m currently listening to My Favorite Murder) so the interest in the case and podcast isn’t surprising. However, its effectiveness and involvement in an arrest and potential conclusion to a case could set a precedence for cold case podcasts. Rather than be a meticulous and informative investigation as Thomas has done here, we could see  multiple podcasts appear with the sole aim to solve cases. Though this is objectively a good thing, the problems that this case may face (being the influence of the podcast and the information found on the trial and someone’s right to innocence) would be a terrible legacy for Thomas’ outstanding work and the fact that he has helped create the possibility for closure for Lyn Dawson’s family and friends.

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Daily Prompt

Dancing

She took a deep breath to steady herself. The curtains were shut in front of her, the stage and audience beyond. Her limbs became loose and limber as she worked through her warm up routine and waited for her cue.

This was the final test for her. After tonight she was free and could go where she wanted. She could travel to the desserts in the far south. She could go north, try and find her family. After all this time, they probably wouldn’t be there. After what happened, they probably weren’t even alive.

The music soared and her cue arrived. She took a step forward and the curtains opened.

Daily Prompt

The Vessel

The incessant creaking of wood and ropes combined with the rush of the ocean to produce a noise that made it difficult to hear when below decks. Although the ship was state of the art, she couldn’t help fear curling through her gut.

Wiping her clammy hands on her dress, she looked up at the sky visible through the hatch above her. It was a blue as it had been the day she left behind everything. Hope had filled her heart then, and it grew as the horizon spread before her. Months had passed since that day, when it was only supposed to be weeks. Morale was almost non-existent and she had heard the murmurings of the crew against the captain for nights on end. Something was going to break sooner rather than later and she wasn’t sure which way it would go.

Daily Prompt

Unrequited Love:

When I met you I had no idea what would happen. It was an average day as I hauled the buckets up and down the stairs. You barely looked at me as you passed, so I ignored you in return. The next time I saw you though, was when I was being whipped and you intervened. You walked me to the kitchen where Amity cleaned my wounds. After that you smiled at me when you saw me. All of a sudden you didn’t seem so horrible. Then you spoke to me. Just little things here and there, but enough that I could see you actually cared. When I walked in on you one day, looking as though you were bearing the weight of the world on your shoulders, I realised things had changed. I think you did too. You looked at me, all brown eyes and stress, and you reached for me. I held you as you poured it out. After that we were closer, and I began to hope. I don’t know why. It never stood a chance, but as time went on a curl of hope unfurled in my chest. Then you came home from the ball with her on your arm. She is a beautiful inside as she is out, and you looked at her like she hung the moon. Things didn’t weigh as heavily on you after that. It got serious very quickly, and the hope withered. It hurt, but watching you fall in love made something in me smile. So watching you on your wedding day, a grin ear to ear, I took a deep breath and finally let you go.

Daily Writing

Hey everyone,

So I’m still terrible at publishing here, so I challenging myself. Everyday I am going to publish a short para/response to a writing prompt. All the prompts are from here. So here is the first one:

Outside the window

Stars stretched across the midnight sky. Tiny pinpricks of light that were inconsequential by themselves, but when viewed together, they produced a sight that counteracted the cold breeze meandering through the field. Her chest expanded, as though she was trying to breathe in the calmness. No clouds met her eyes as she continued to stare at the sky and the temperature continued to drop. The new moon left the area shrouded in darkness, creating both a sense of security and unease. Just as she hid in the dark, so could other things. Far more dangerous things that could use the darkness to their advantage.

As to the future of the blog, I’m on uni break so fingers crossed I’ll start updating regularly.

 Bea xx

Blog Update

Hey everyone (haha everyone),

So, I’ve basically been MIA since my last blog post on Empire of Storms (read it here), and I’m sorry. This hasn’t been intentional, but life’s been busy (isn’t it always) and I let it get on top of me. Unfortunately, I’m completing my honours in history so this year’s not gonna be much better.

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Credit: https://www.tenor.co/view/guilty-ericforman-that70sshow-gif-5332532

 

So I’m gonna alter my blog slightly. I am going to keep doing some reviews,but mainly of movies cause I’m not going to be able to do much reading for fun. Instead, I think I’m going to publish more random things on my blogs. Randoms thoughts. Random pictures. And to be honest random things on my honours topic (which is the legend around the Romanov Grand Duchesses).

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Credit: http://bavatuesdays.com/the-peoples-open-education-jam-or-say-it-with-a-gif/

Hopefully, I’ll be able to post more regularly, but we’ll see.

Talk soon,

Beatrix

 

 

Empire of Storms

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Photo Credit: https://yabookreviewsandblogs.com/tag/empire-of-storms/

The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don’t.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Empire of Storms is the penultimate book in Sarah J Maas Throne of Glass series, and it is a masterpiece that not only lives up to but also exceeds the standards created by the previous books. Maas somehow ups the ante in everything that has been happening, which has created a highly addictive, rollercoaster of a book. It’s unpredictable, but not in a way that’s off putting. Somehow, it all makes sense and everything ties in together.

I would say my favourite thing about this book is probably the character developments and dynamics. Aelin continues to grow and develop as a major power player, who somehow delights in tormenting her companions by only letting them know about her plans at the last minute, but also has them and their safety at the heart of her plans. She is simultaneously shown as being incredibly independent to the point of frustration for Rowan and Aedion, but she is so dependent on both of them that she does certain things purely to protect them. However, despite her apparently becoming all-seeing to a certain extent in terms of her planning, and then having contingency plans to back up all of the other plans, the events at the conclusion of the novel show that she isn’t all-seeing and makes her seem a little more human, because I must admit throughout Queen of Shadows and the start of Empire of Storms, I found that Aelin’s planning skills were starting to border on being a little unbelievable and unrelateable.

Character developments within this book aren’t just limited to Aelin. I would say that Dorian and Manon seem to have changed the most throughout Empire of Storms. Readers see completely different sides to both of them that haven’t been seen before. In Manon we see a softness that causes a major plot twist that I wasn’t really expecting to happen when it did. I think I was expecting it to happen at some point in time, but Maas made it shocking. In Dorian however, there is an edge that definitely wasn’t there before, and I really enjoyed reading this. Considering what he has been through, particularly in Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows, I loved that we saw that it affected him because I feel like sometimes author’s aren’t always good at showing how events can shape characters, and it was amazing the way Maas handled what happened to Dorian to keep him as the character we know and love, but also show that he has changed, as anyone would have if they had been through what he went through. I am also a huge fan of what Maas did with Manon and Dorian, which once again wasn’t completely unexpected, but it felt like a really natural progression and result of their growth as characters.

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Back Cover Artwork. Photo Credit: http://worldofsarahjmaas.com/post/147394712079/the-stunning-back-cover-art-for-empire-of-storms

In terms of continuity with the rest of the series this keeps everything going and adds on without feeling forced. I found that I was reminded of certain things that appeared in Throne of Glass or the prequel novellas that I had kind of forgotten about. A lot of depth has also been added to previous events and choices made by Aelin that I had barely noticed first time round, like the fact she dyed her hair red and fought under the name Ansel of Briarcliff at the beginning of Queen of Shadows. I won’t say why this is important, but this seemingly inane fact played a big part in one of the major twists at the end of Empire of Storms. This also ties in with what Maas tends to do with Aelin’s plans and the reveal of them. As I said previously Aelin takes great delight in revealing her plans to her companions whenever she pleases and, as a reader, I can never pick what’s going to happen either. Maas keeps it as a surprise for the readers by not really mentioning anything about it at all, and it gets revealed to there readers when Aelin explains to the rest of her court how she did it. All of a sudden little throw away lines of text that I tended to note but then disregard make sense. The initial reveal is always a shock, but then as it gets explained and I think back to the part being discussed I would literally have an ‘aha’ moment and honestly, I think this technique is amazing. I’ve gotten used to sometimes being able to guess plot reveals and twists in other books so I love that this keeps it fresh. The only thing I ever knew for sure in Empire of Storms was that Aelin would always have something up her sleeve and some plan going. This in turn made the ending even more shocking as I was not expecting it at all.

Though I don’t want to give too much away, this ending also made Maeve, the Fae Queen into a much bigger player in the next book than I thought she was going to be. Whilst with everything I knew from the previous books it was obvious that she was going o have some role in Aelin’s quest to get the wyrdkeys and the lock needed to get rid of them, I always thought she would be a lesser player in comparison to Erawan, but now, I really don’t know which one is going to turn out to be the worst out of the two. Plot wise this is great, because it raises the stakes even more than they were already raised in this book with its reveal about wyrdkeys and what Aelin needs to do to end it all. It also sets up the next book to be an absolute mammoth of a book, which to be honest I didn’t think was completely possible with the size of Empire of Storms, and I cannot wait. Even though it will be bittersweet because obviously it will be the conclusion of this series, I am honestly so excited for it.

4.75 out 5

Till next time,

Beatrix