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The Broken Shore: A Novel Hardcover – May 29, 2007

Book 1 of 2 in the Broken Shore Series

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The Fifth Gospel: A Novel
"One part The Da Vinci Code, one part The Name of the Rose and one part A Separate Peace ... A smart, swift, multitextured tale that both entertains and informs ... As much a blazingly good yarn as it is an exceptional piece of scholarship." — San Francisco Chronicle See more books by Ian Caldwell

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In Temple's beautifully written eighth crime novel, Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion. Temple (An Iron Rose), who has won five Ned Kelly Awards, examines Australian political and social divisions underlying the deceptively simple murder case. Many characters, especially the police, exhibit the vicious racism that still pervades the country's white society. Byzantine plot twists and incisively drawn characters combine with stunning descriptions of the wild, lush, menacing Australian landscape to make this an unforgettable read. (June)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Peter Temple, the author of eight previous mystery novels and a five-time winner of the Ned Kelly Award, Australia's most prestigious prize for crime fiction, is a literary sensation in the Southern Hemisphere. The Broken Shore lives up to expectations with its vivid characters, meticulously plotted story lines, nimble prose, and striking sense of place. Often compared to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, Joe Cashin-flawed and cynical, but still looking out for the underdog-is a delightful protagonist. Though Entertainment Weekly thought that the denouement didn't quite live up to its earlier promise, most critics unanimously praised this smart, sophisticated thriller. Hopefully, Temple will begin to attract more attention on this side of the equator.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Second Printing edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374116938
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374116934
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #248,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Temple is the author of nine novels, including four books in the Jack Irish series. He has won the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction five times, and his widely acclaimed novels have been published in over twenty countries. "The Broken Shore" won the UK's prestigious Duncan Lawrie Dagger for the best crime novel of 2007 and was made into an ABC telemovie in 2014. Truth won the 2010 Miles Franklin Literary Award, the first time a crime writer has won an award of this caliber anywhere in the world. Temple's first two novels "Bad Debts" and "Black Tide" have been made into films with Guy Pearce starring as Jack Irish.

Customer Reviews

The novel is in fact a blend of crime fiction and a literary wonder.
prisrob
Peter Temple writes what he knows, you can feel him going and doing his research where he sets his books.
Veloaficionado
Still, it is a very good read with well developed and interesting characters.
Richard A. Frederick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 72 people found the following review helpful By J. DAVIDSON on June 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am glad Harriet Klausner liked this book, but I feel that her description may not give readers quite the right idea. Peter Temple is a truly extraordinary writer. This book has all the pleasures of the best crime fiction (if you like Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Robert Crais, this is a good choice), but it's also written in the most extraordinarily beautiful prose style, with a kind of simplicity and clarity and intelligence that's sort of like what you might get if you crossed Proust with Hemingway and picked only the best of the litter to keep. The Australian settings are also strange and magical--not just crime fiction fans but pretty much anyone who cares about novels should be reading Temple's stuff.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Burgmicester VINE VOICE on April 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is my first attempt at Peter Temple. What a truly welcome find this book was. The writing is first rate. Also, difficult to do, but handled with ease was the way author's wove flashback information into the storyline.

This is one special detective story and puts Temple in a class with the best from these authors - Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Michael Connelly, John Sanford. I can't tell from the DJ, but it seems that the detective, Joe Cashin, is a newly introduced character and he comes with a ton of baggage - ala Harry Bosch. But that is what makes the storyline intriguing. Joe Cashin is very unique man and carries much emotional and psychological damages from the past. That past is beautifully revealed one peel of the onion at a time.

Interesting is the racial tension that is portrayed between the Aboriginal people and the Police. Sometimes we tend to think that is a unique social situation just in the U.S. But here sparks fly and tempers mount in a seaside resort town that makes the seasonal switch from beautiful to ugly as fall gives in to winter. The author is able to pull the reader into the surroundings beautifully.

The characters that surround Cashin are so lifelike that the story reads like non fiction.

The author is Australian and therefore the prose is riddled with colloquialisms that are a little difficult to understand. There is a glossary in the back that will help the first time reader.

This is a wonderfully written piece of literature that happens to be a murder mystery.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Kornbluth TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Peter Temple is two of the best writers I know.

He's the best novelist writing about crime in Australia, and considering how each of his books wins several awards, he's arguably one of the best crime writers on the planet.

And then he's a terrific novelist, period. Chapters are scenes. Sentences are packed with relevant information, delivered with a style so crisp every word crunches: "She was no more than fifteen, dark hair, pretty, it wouldn't last." He knows every last thing about his characters ("Tired in the trunk, hurting in the pelvis, pains down his legs, he swallowed two aspirins with the first swig of beer") and his setting ("peaty sod the color of chocolate when plowed"). And can he deliver a tale? In 340 pages, he can weave strands as diverse as racism, corruption, big money, family loyalty and personal kinks into a credible story.

Come for the crime, stay for the pure pleasure of reading.

I first encountered Peter Temple a few years ago, when I stumbled into Identity Theory and reeled out dazzled by plotting that was intricate without being confusing, characters so real I thought I was reading non-fiction, and dialogue that was always original but never mannered. Talent? To burn. But also a ferocious commitment to quality: "I fiddle endlessly with the prose, trying to catch speech rhythms, removing words, trying to find what can be left unsaid, trying to capture the look and the feel and the mood of a place."

For a day or so, I thought I could figure out how I could steal Temple's style. What a deluded ambition! Peter Temple owns a franchise, and with each book, he seems to move the bar higher.

Take The Broken Shore, his most recent novel.
Read more ›
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Joe Cashin is a Homicide Detective who has been reassigned from Melbourne in Australia to his quiet coastal hometown after a near brush with death on the job. He is investigating the killing of a high profile local businessman. Initially clues point to local Aboriginal boys and after a shoot out with police leaves two of the three suspects dead, the case seems closed. But Cashin feels guilty about the shoot out and is unconvinced about the conclusions being drawn, so he keeps investigating.

This is an interesting and well written book that is part mystery, part social commentary and part character study. It is not a traditional crime novel and most certainly not a fast-paced thriller. Personally, I would have preferred more emphasis on solving the crime. (I also found the eventual solution to be pretty sordid and unpleasant - consider yourself warned.)

But the book is richer than a mere murder mystery. Peter Temple is a wonderful writer who uses words carefully and sparingly. Cashin is a complex and satisfying main character and the lesser characters are also rounded and interesting. I felt immersed in the remote seaside town and I was intrigued by the racial tensions.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy Ian Rankin - I felt it was similar in style.
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