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5 minutes with Grace Tobin

Grace TobinGrace Tobin is a journalist originally from Brisbane, now based in Sydney. She started her career in 2009 as a crime and court reporter in regional Queensland. Grace is currently a producer with the Nine Network's flagship current affairs program 60 Minutes. In 2017, she won a Walkley Award for the 60 Minutes story on Matthew Levenson's death.

What was the last good book you read?

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. A psychological thriller about a woman who murders her husband then refuses to speak another word. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire way through.

Do you have a favourite Library?

As much as I love my local, Woollahra Library, my old primary school library in Brisbane will always be my favourite. It probably sounds odd but it was where I spent countless lunch hours as a “library monitor” helping file books under the Dewey Decimal System and reading every Enid Blyton I could get my hands on. It’s also where I undertook my very first writer’s course at the age of 10 and discovered a desire to write.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever read about yourself or your work?

I’m very new to this author thing so it still feels surreal any time anyone comments on Deal with the Devil. Thankfully though I’ve been fortunate enough to only hear positive feedback so far – certainly a refreshing change from my day job as a 60 Minutes producer!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Definitely the advice my mum, Narelle, has been giving me for as long as I can remember: “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

It might sound obvious but having those little words drilled into me from childhood has always helped me think big, strive hard and never give up on my ambitions.

What inspired you to write your book?

It’s not so much what but who - Mark and Faye Leveson. As the parents of Matthew, their grit and determination to find their son no matter the cost is something that affected me deeply from the moment I met them. Back then, I could never have anticipated the twists and turns we would navigate together as their search for the truth led them on a journey no parent should ever have to endure. For me, theirs was a story I desperately needed to write.

Want to read more about Deal With the Devil: the death of Matthew Levenson and the ten-year search for the truth?

Book cover Deal With the DevilDeal with the Devil is the story of the Leveson family from the journalist who was closest to them throughout the four-year police reinvestigation of Matt's case. This is a firsthand account of the Levesons' ordeal, from their harrowing decision to grant Atkins immunity to the extraordinary search for Matt's body in Sydney's Royal National Park. There is also an unnerving insight into Atkins' past, as well as exclusive interviews with his ex-boyfriends, lovers and former friends. But, above all, what emerges is a portrait of a loving family, and of two parents bound by their public quest to achieve justice for their son.

Deal With the Devil : the death of Matthew Levenson & the ten-year search for the truth is published by Penguin Random House and is available now.