The Penalty, Josh Massoud, Allen & Unwin, $32.99.
OPINIONS of Ryan Tandy changed earlier this year, when the first player convicted of trying to "fix" an NRL match was found dead at home after an apparent overdose of prescription drugs.
Whatever Tandy had or had not done in the past, there was widespread sadness that his life had ended in such sad circumstances.
And while his last few years were spent as a pariah, after his infamous transgressions in the opening minute of Canterbury's 2010 clash with the Cowboys in Townsville, this riveting biography paints him in a different light.
At no point does Massoud, a long-time Daily Telegraph rugby league writer, try to convince the reader than Tandy was falsely accused.
But what he does achieve is to portray him as a likeable bloke who simply made bad decisions.
This becomes easier to understand when Massoud explores Tandy's childhood, in particular the death of his father when the promising front-rower from the Central Coast was only a teenager.
From a young age, Tandy became entrenched in a culture of drinking, drugs and gambling.
Never a superstar, his earnings from rugby league were invariably spent before they were even deposited in his bank account.
By the time he arrived at the Bulldogs, after the salary cap scandal of 2010, his journeyman career had spiralled out of control.
Tandy vehemently denied trying to orchestrate a betting "sting" on the Cowboys, scoring first with a penalty goal, but it seems even friends and family had trouble believing him.
Whatever the case, after reading this poignant reflection, it is hard to escape the conclusion that perhaps Tandy was not as bad a person as many may have assumed.
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