Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then; was surer and less thoughtful. But there are consequences when you’ve come so close to dying. For Cashin, they included a posting away from the world of Homicide to the quiet place on the coast where he grew up. Now all he has to do is play the country cop and walk the dogs. And sometimes think about how he was before.
Then prominent local Charles Bourgoyne is bashed and left for dead. Everything seems to point to three boys from the nearby Aboriginal community; everyone seems to want it to. But Cashin is unconvinced. And as tragedy unfolds relentlessly into tragedy, he finds himself holding onto something that might be better let go.
Peter Temple’s gift for compelling plots and evocative, compassionately drawn characters has earnt him a reputation as the grand master of Australian crime writing. The Broken Shore is Temple’s finest book yet; a novel about a place, about family, about politics and power, and the need to live decently in a world where so much is rotten. It is a work as moving as it is gripping, and one that defies the boundaries of genre.
‘Peter Temple has been described as one of Australia’s best crime novelists, but he’s far better than that. He’s one of our best novelists full stop.’
‘The best yet…The Broken Shore might just be a great Australian novel, irrespective of genre.’
‘the greatest joy is Temple’s use of language. Every word in The Broken Shore contains meaning…It’s deliciously brutal and spare, full of unambiguous violence, prejudice and hatred one moment, and cavernous instances of insight and revelation the next.’
‘it might well be the best crime novel published in this country.’
‘The Broken Shore is one of those watershed books that makes you rethink your ideas about reading.’
‘With this moving portrait of a detective at a turning point in his life, one of our most accomplished crime writers gives us not only a gripping whodunnit but grapples with issues ranging from race relations, friendship, loyalty, politics, the past and the future to the bond between a man and his dog.’
‘The Broken Shore portrays a community in thrall to long-established prejudices and passions. It is also about the inner destruction of families: raw, cruel and moving.’
‘A towering achievement that brings alive a ferocious landscape and a motley assortment of clashing characters. The sense of place is stifling in its intensity, and seldom has a waltz of the damned proven so hypnotic. Indispensable.’
‘It’s a stone classic. Hard as nails and horrible, but read page one and I challenge you not to finish it.’
‘The Broken Shore offers both poetry and gore, and it’s best if you have a taste for both. Having read the new novels of Michael Connelly and Martin Cruz Smith, I have to say that Temple belongs in their company. Australia is a long way off, but this bloke is world-class.’
‘The Broken Shore is superb, full of great characters, and set in rural Australia, a place Temple obviously loves. But it’s his dialogue that carries the book. If Raymond Chandler had been born Down Under, this is what his novels would have sounded like.’
‘The Broken Shore…is a crime novel that towers high above the rest of the genre…‘
‘Temple follows some crime-writing conventions—yes there are crimes to be solved, yes the plot thickens, yes there are flawed cops with problems of their own—but he folds in so many layers with so much style that genre becomes irrelevant.’