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Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil Hardcover – October 11, 2016
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Praise for Tell The Truth, Shame the Devil:
"Each new Melina Marchetta novel is a revelation. She's always changing, always evolving, and each one performs the miracle of somehow bettering the last--and TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL does exactly that. A novel of great scope, of past and present, and above all, the Marchetta trademark of a fierce and loving heart."―Markus Zusak, bestselling author of The Book Thief
"When you spend roughly 400 pages with characters and it still doesn't feel like enough you know you've read a great book. Actually, an excellent book. [It] expertly slices out every human emotion. I can only hope I will get to meet these characters again in a future book."―Jamie Canaves, BookRiot
"Marchetta's stunning adult debut....Emotionally complex characters complement an intricate plot rife with dizzying twists and devastating reveals. This visceral read manages to capture the emotional aftermath of a mass tragedy while sustaining tension and delivering a scathing indictment of racial profiling, vigilante justice, and the 24-hour news cycle."
―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Along with its wellrounded and likable characters, this is more than a crime story; it's jam-packed with family drama and heartbreak. Highly recommended for suspense and mystery fans."
―Kristen Calvert, Library Journal (starred review)
"Marchetta's smooth writing and flair for dialogue combine for a mostly seamless read."
"I might have held my breath the entire time I was reading Melina Marchetta's heart-pounding (and heartbreaking) new novel. Part crime story, part family drama, part love story, TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go until I'd read the last word--and shed the last tear."
―Gayle Forman, bestselling author of If I Stay and Leave Me
"Loved it! TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is a stunning marriage of global anguish and personal pain. It's often heartbreaking, sometimes heart-stopping, and definitely unforgettable."―Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
"A cracking read that's also timely and intelligent....Marchetta is a master storyteller. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil deserves to be on the bedside table of every crime fan."
―The Saturday Paper (Australia)
"....the characters [Marchetta] introduces are rich and complex. They'll soon be swept up in this swift thriller and call for more installments in Bish's tale."
―Cat Acree, BookPage
"Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil brilliantly captures the confusion of father-daughter relationships, the double-edged sword of redemption, and the destructive societal fear of "The Other." Alternating between dozens of perspectives, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is a wide-lens view of how one act of violence can reverberate for years and years in countless different lives and countless different places."―Cristina Arreola, Bustle
"There's much complexity and beauty in Melina Marchetta's resonating Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. While large in scope, exploring timely issues such as terrorism, racism, the plight of immigrants and social media's lynch-mob mentality, the book also tells the heartrending personal stories of multidimensional and memorable characters."―Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"These stories, and the characters she introduces, are as much about the changing social and cultural climate of western Europe --- and the distrust and fear that too often accompany those changes --- as they are about any specific incident of violence. The book urges all of us to take a step back and consider --- as well as confront --- our own inherent biases."―Norah Piehl, BookReporter
"Marchetta seems to have inside knowledge of the mysterious processes of the teenage brain. A busload of quarrelsome, immature adolescents doesn't daunt her in the least.... Her young characters all stand out as individuals. Even at their most infuriating, they're always believable."
―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
"A multi-layered book with a big heart that accords every character we encounter - and there are many - a backstory that serves to illustrate just how profoundly people's lives may be shaped by the forces of history over which they have no control. Marchetta does this seamlessly, while her characters spring to life on the page....a beautifully conceived crime novel that continues to resonate long after you reach the last page."
―Sue Turnbull, Sydney Morning Herald
About the Author
Melina Marchetta is the acclaimed author of young adult novels including Saving Francesca and Jellicoe Road, which won the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. Her novels have been published in 17 languages and 18 countries. She lives in Sydney, Australia. TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is Marchetta's first novel for adults.
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Top customer reviews
In every book I’ve read by MM there is one moment in the story, or a story within the story that completely grips me and touches me in a way that I wish everything I read had something in it like that. Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil has an amazing story about a watch that could have been a book all on its own, because in two pages she told a gripping tale of a family’s history and it was beautiful, poetic, tragic and wonderful all at the same time.
This is a little different than some of the other books by MM as it is a psychological thriller and still it is a story about the characters. Bish is the focus of the story. He is still in the grips of guilt and loss after the death of his son that also tore his marriage apart and placed a wedge between him and his grieving daughter. Even though he is a mess from the beginning I was really rooting for him.
The story takes off pretty fast as his daughter’s bus was bombed while on a holiday tour and Bish is thrust into the middle of the investigation. I think this book dealt really well with how social media and the public can be both a help and a hindrance to investigations. How after the events of 9/11 the world perception changed and that isn’t necessarily always a good thing. How prejudice and public pressure can lead to disaster. I don’t want you to think this book was preachy because I never felt like it was. But I did feel like it was honest about some things that we don’t like to be honest about.
~~~~~~ The Best Parts:~~~~~~~~
As always with a Marchetta book the best parts are the people, their histories and how it all works out in the end. Every person in this book was flawed in some way and that made them all the more read for me.
Violetta is the daughter of a woman convicted of a horrendous bombing. Her mother has been in prison for the last 13 years of her life and every person in her family has been touched by that in some way. But I loved that that family felt closer together than most of us who see each other every day.
Bish and his ex-wife have a history and she is now pregnant with another child. But I thought that the relationship that family has while incredibly complicated was completely beautiful too. I felt the pain and the hope that they held for each other and how even though they were divorced they still loved each other and wanted the other to be happy. It wasn’t perfect but they were trying to be the best people towards each other they could be even if they were no longer together.
***He walked her down to the tube station, knowing Maynard would be waiting for her at Ashford, and it made him melancholy. His hand almost tempted to take hers. It seemed the natural thing to do, and because Rachel was more evolved than Bish, she took his. The next time he saw her, she’d likely have had the baby. How strange it would sound to hear Bee speak about a brother who wasn’t Stevie. Who wasn’t theirs. He stood with her on the platform in silence until the tube came. “Would it seem odd to say that I want you to have a place in this kid’s life?” she asked. Bish could hardly be a player in his own life, let alone another man’s child’s.***
And the there is Noor. Wow…just wow. I don’t think I can say enough about how rich I found her character to be. She was a brilliant woman who gave up her future for the lives of her family. Her entire story was so compelling to me that I loved and hated every section of it as it was doled out. The best part about her was how strong she was in this story. She sees people, like really sees them deep down to the core and I adored how she cut to the quick of it. Sometimes she was kind, sometimes harsh, but always I found her character honest.
***“I know about guilt,” she said.
“Yes, you would.”
“Not mine. The only guilt I’ve ever felt is for catching Etienne LeBrac’s eye in the cafeteria of St. John’s College and ruining his life by association,” she said. “I’m talking about yours.”
He stood to leave.
“You feel guilty because you weren’t on that beach to save him.” Her words gutted him. “Your ex-wife feels guilty because she thinks she’s not going to love her new child as much as she loved your son. And your daughter feels guilty that she’s not dead and her brother is. So who’s the better detective here?”***
There are so many other smaller character parts that cling to me but you’ll just have to read this to find those gems for yourself.
Don’t let the book topic scare you. I don’t read many thrillers unless they are Urban Fantasy or a romance with a murder mystery. So the topic of this book was a little out of my comfort zone. But that didn’t really matter, because the story is so compelling and the characters are really interesting that I believe no matter what kind of reader you are there could be something in this story for you. Plus I really liked how it incorporated how people are today with their phones and social media and how all of that plays a part in the way that information is shared and used in both positive and negative ways.
~~~~~~ Overall: ~~~~~~
If you have read any of MM’s other works then I’m sure you will find the same fantastic storytelling at the core. If you have never read a MM book this might be a really great entry point for you to see if you enjoy her style of storytelling since this is completely a standalone.
Sometimes a book just simply drops out of nowhere straight into the best of the year list with minimal fanfare. TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is undoubtedly going to remain one of the best things I've read this year for a whole lot of reasons.</p>
The publisher website has this summation:</p>
"With its cast of unforgettable characters, social insight and wry wit, <em>Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil</em> is an irresistible novel about human identity, lost children and the nature of real love."</p>
Nails it really. TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is a psychological thriller that is cleverly constructed, beautifully executed and compelling reading.</p>
Cleverly constructed in the way it combines a series of important, very current topics into one elegantly realised plot. TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL covers the fear of terrorism in the community, alongside the need for awareness of over-reaction and over-simplification. It also considers the nature of the "other" - different races / different experiences / different backgrounds creating often unnecessary, and nearly always unworthy tension and suspicion. Combining these aspects into very personal experiences creates a series of wonderful characters, full of flaws and doubt, wracked with pain and joy, struggling with a series of life events that affect them all in different, and yet somehow similar ways.</p>
As you'd expect the major character parts - Bish, his mother and his daughter, Violette, and her imprisoned mother are wonderfully drawn. As are the lesser parts - the other children on the bombed bus, the French police chief and his own daughter and so on right through the book. Each of these people is human, and the events that affect them sufficiently drawn out to give everyone a place in the story, and a story about their place.</p>
Beautifully executed in the way that these characters are deftly placed in a strong plot, full of menace and threat, whilst also raising a lot of questions in reader minds. While Bish struggles with so much of his past, and the way that his life has panned out, the younger Violette has a mission of her own, with a background and family history that is poles apart from Bish's in many aspects, and disconcertingly close in others. All the while the ease with which a frightened community can become a vigilante community plays out, as does the insidiousness of assumption and wild conclusion drawing and "opinion". </p>
Compelling because despite the many layers in TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL, this is the sort of book that readers are given permission to draw conclusions from. To see different aspects of human nature, and behaviour and reflect upon the consequences of that. Along the way you're engaged with some wonderful characters. Each and everyone of them has been allowed to be brave, single-minded, daft and dangerously self-absorbed in as many different combinations. But most of all, that searching for an explanation of our reactions to fear or difference is something that will stay with many readers.</p>
<a href="https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-tell-truth-shame-devil-melina-marchetta">Tell The Truth Shame the Devil</a>