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  • Published: 1 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9781529112436
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

On the Trail of the Serpent

The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj




Now the subject of a major BBC TV drama, this is the only full-length study of Charles Sobrhaj - one of the world's greatest conmen, and notorious serial killers.

***NOW THE SUBJECT OF A MAJOR TV SERIES ***

DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE TRUE CRIME STORY OF SERIAL KILLER, CHARLES SOBHRAJ, AND THE RACE TO BRING HIM TO JUSTICE

Charles Sobhraj remains one of the world's great con men, and as a serial killer, the story of his life and capture endures as legend. Born in Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and Indian father, Sobhraj grew up with a fluid sense of identity, moving to France before being imprisoned and stripped of his multiple nationalities. Driven to floating from country to country, continent to continent, he became the consummate con artist, stealing passports, smuggling drugs and guns across Asia, busting out of prisons and robbing wealthy associates. But as his situation grew more perilous he turned to murder, preying on Western tourists dropping out across the 1970s hippie route, leaving a trail of dead bodies and gruesome crime scenes in his wake.

First published in 1979, but updated here to include new material, On the Trail of the Serpent draws its readers into the story of Sobhraj's life as told exclusively to journalists Richard Neville and Julie Clarke. Blurring the boundaries between true crime and novelisation, this remains the definitive book about Sobhraj - a riveting tale of sex, drugs, adventure and murder.

  • Published: 1 December 2020
  • ISBN: 9781529112436
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

About the authors

Richard Neville

Richard Neville was an Australian writer and commentator who first came to prominence as the editor of the counterculture magazine OZ. Having travelled the ‘pot trail’ throughout the 1960s and 70s, Neville was commissioned by Random House to write the story of con man and serial killer, Charles Sobhraj. The result, On the Trail of the Serpent was a global bestseller. His other books include Play Power, Hippie, Hippie, Shake, Out of My Mind and Amerika Pyscho. Neville died in 2016.

Julie Clarke

Julie Clarke trained as a journalist on the Sydney Telegraph before joining ABC television. She later became a New York correspondent for Australian Consolidated Press and worked as a TV producer. She was commissioned to write The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj along with her partner Richard Neville, an endeavour that took the pair all over the world for three years.

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