Peter Temple has been carving his name out as the pre-eminent crime novelist in Australia. His Jack Irish novels are as good as if not better than any series delivered from UK and US bestselling authors. Unfortunately his sales have not always reflected that which is a crying shame. TRUTH has just been shortlisted for The Miles Franklin Award and would not only be a worthy winner but also a deserving one.
TRUTH is a companion novel to THE BROKEN SHORE, which was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2005. You don’t need read either in order and there are no crossovers of plot. Where THE BROKEN SHORE captured the harshness and beauty of regional Australia, this novel captures the grim realities of city life and the people who struggle to hold on to any certainty that they can find.
Inspector Stephen Villani is struggling to run the Melbourne Homicide unit as the rest of his life crumbles around him. When a woman’s body is found in a newly built, exclusive high rise apartment building the pressures of wealth, politics and power bears down on Villani with all its weight. Meanwhile bushfires are ranging around the city adding to the pressure cooker atmosphere.
This is unlike any crime novel I have read before. Every word literally detonates off the page. It is a crime novel that challenges the reader and in many ways reminded me of THE WIRE. It is not a book you can just pick and read at 100mph. You have to get in the rhythm of the characters and their language. You feel their pain, their frustration and their sense of hopelessness. This is a novel about a man, a family, a city. It is about violence, murder, love, corruption, honour and deceit. And it is about truth.