|Definition: self-acting machine, esp. simulating a human being. Legal terminology for an accused who can't remember the crime.|
My best-selling debut novel won the Australian Fast Books Prize in 2003 and was nominated for the Davitt Awards in 2004.
Set in Canberra, Australia's national capital, Automaton is a story of murder and secrets; of a boy almost bashed to death before being arrested for a murder he can't remember committing during a botched robbery; of the victim's family, pathological in its attempts to keep its skeletons in the cupboard; and of defence counsel, going too far in striving for a not guilty verdict.
Elisabeth Sharman takes on the most difficult case of her career when asked to defend Russell Montgomery, a 19 year old arrested for a murder he says he can't remember committing. It's a case made even more puzzling when she learns that Russell is the only person involved who doesn't have a history of violence. Can she prove his innocence? Or is he in fact the most cunning person in the drama?
Have you ever wished you had one document in which you could keep a record of your family's entire medical history?
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