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The First Time He Hit Her

The shocking true story of the murder of Tara Costigan, the woman next door

Heidi Lemon Sylvie de Crespigny

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Hachette Australia
30 June 2020
For readers of true crime and books such as SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, a shocking and movingly told portrait of the murder of suburban mum Tara Costigan and an examination of why domestic violence affects us all Tara Costigan was the woman next door. A hard worker. Quick to laugh and easy to like. She was happy, confident, strong. A woman who always looked after herself and her kids. Close with her family and her friends, she was much loved. Then, in 2013, she met Marcus Rappel. A local tradie, he was charming and sincere, they dated and fell in love. That should have been the end of a happy-ever-after story. But for Tara, it was much uglier. And for her family it would be devastating.

A year later, Tara was pregnant to Marcus. Her family had been worried for a while, but Tara didn't tell anyone how Marcus's jealousy was souring the relationship. She tried to keep it quiet. Despite everything, she never imagined he would be physically violent - he would never hurt her.

Tara was wrong. One fine day, the last day of summer in 2015, she was holding their newborn baby in her arms when he attacked her with an axe. Her murder seemed to come out of the blue. But as this extraordinary, often shocking book reveals, it did not.

THE FIRST TIME HE HIT HER is an attempt to understand why dozens of women are murdered each year by men who profess to love them.
By:   Heidi Lemon
Read by:   Sylvie de Crespigny
Imprint:   Hachette Australia
Country of Publication:   Australia
Edition:   Digital original
Dimensions:   Height: 232mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 30mm
Weight:   380g
ISBN:   9780733643767
ISBN 10:   0733643760
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   30 June 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Heidi Lemon received an Honours degree in Creative Writing from the University of Canberra. For the past few years she has devoted herself to writing, funding her efforts with a job in retail. Heidi worked closely with the Costigan family during the writing of this book, which is her first.

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