'Martin John Bryant slipped into the world in the autumn of 1967, blond, blue eyed, angelic. On a sunny Sunday 29 years later, Carleen and Maurice Bryant's beloved first-born loaded the boot of his yellow Volvo with guns and ammunition and returned to Tasmania's historic Port Arthur settlement, scene of many idyllic childhood summers. There, the young man with the striking surfie hair and mesmeric eyes, calmly shot 35 people dead and injured another 21. His crime, the world's worst killing spree by a lone gunman, horrified the nation and changed Australia forever.
'Thirteen years on, Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, both senior news writers, delve backwards over five generations and across two hemispheres to unravel the complete story of Bryant's life and reveal why he committed this heinous crime. They have uncovered Bryant's family history, spoken to his mother, his psychiatrists, lawyer and others who knew him, to piece together the story of eccentric and disparate characters whose lives intersected - with catastrophic results. From Bryant's shocking behind-the-scenes confessions to his own 11th-hour attempt to turn back, this book asks if the Port Arthur massacre could have been prevented. And explains why it could happen again.' (Publisher's blurb)