The Master of the Keys: Who lives, Who Dies, I decide.
The Master of the Keys is a story that will captivate the interest of a wide range of readers, not the least of whom are the families and friends of anyone who has spent time in the prison system. It will allow them to see, perhaps for the first time, the challenges and deprivation experienced by their loved ones. It will allow insight into why the person they see now is not, perhaps, the same person who was taken into custody. Prison changes peoples lives, and anyone who is interested in knowing the how or why this occurs may find their answers within these pages. Welfare workers, pyschologists, criminologists and anthropologists will all find something of value in this story. It depicts the multitude of interactions that take place between the different groups of people who have been thrust together inside the walls of a prison. Although The Master of the Keys is about the Australia Prison system, it can apply anywhere else.
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This is a good read, and a lot of truth in it, but Shane has also included a lot of hearsay in the book which takes away from the integrity of the book.
I worked with Shane at the prison during the 80's and have personal knowledge of some of the things he wrote about, and have heard many of the stories about other things that happened. There was a lot that went on that was not public knowledge, and the public is probably better off not knowing all the gritty facts.
Shane always said even then that he was going to write a book, and I congratulate him on finally bringing it to fruition, it is just a pity that it could not have been a 100% fact and 0% rumor an innuendo because even the simple facts would have made a good story. Shane had a bit of an axe to grind I think (and I don't blame him for that) and it shows in the book, management of Stuart creek in the 80's was not great.
OK so clearly not written by a well educated man, this yarn still kept my interest.
While the author claims the ability to identify mental illness in inmates, that talent clearly does not extend to introspection.