The Broken Shore: Book summary and reviews of The Broken Shore by Peter Temple

The Broken Shore

A Novel

By Peter Temple

The Broken Shore
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  • Published in USA  May 2007,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

Peter Temple is currently being hailed as the finest crime writer in Australia, but it won't be long before he is recognized as what he really is—one of the nation's finest writers, period. Born in South Africa, Temple is writing a dynamic kind of literary thriller that ultimately defies classification.

The Broken Shore, his eighth novel, revolves around big-city detective Joe Cashin. Shaken by a scrape with death, he's posted away from the Homicide Squad to the quiet town on the South Australian coast where he grew up. Carrying physical scars and more than a little guilt, he spends his time playing the country cop, walking his dogs, and thinking about how it all was before. But when a prominent local is attacked in his own home and left for dead, Cashin is thrust into what becomes a murder investigation. The evidence points to three boys from the nearby aboriginal community—everyone seems to want to blame them. Cashin is unconvinced, and soon begins to see the outlines of something far more terrible than a burglary gone wrong.

Winner of the Colin Roderick Award for Australian writing as well as Australia's major prize for crime fiction, the Ned Kelly Award, The Broken Shore is a transfixing and moving novel about a place, a family, politics and power, and the need to live decently in a world where so much is rotten.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Temple's novel racked up the awards in Australia, and it's easy to see why: this deeply intelligent thriller starts slowly, builds inexorably, and ends unforgettably." - Booklist

"Flinty, funny, subtle, and smart ...Temple ranks among [the crime genre's] very best practitioners." - Entertainment Weekly

"Having read the new novels of Michael Connelly and Martin Cruz Smith, I have to say that Temple belongs in their company. ... Murder, rape, suicide, child abuse, police brutality, shootouts--but always in the context of gorgeous writing ...Throughout, Temple finds time to please us with flashes of writing that range from poetic to brutal." -The Washington Post

"A grim, brutally involving crime novel [from] a master of the genre ... Temple develops a complex tale threaded with the racism and corruption so embedded in Australia's ways and means that the scene is as vivid as the crime. ... A compulsive read ... It's one of those books you can't wait to finish and then can only regret that it's ended." - Daily News (New York)

"The extra emphasis on character, as well as subtle commentary on race and class divides, add many welcome layers to Temple's already-outstanding acuity for plotting and pace and his almost musical ear for dialogue." - The Baltimore Sun

"A mature and measured account of the kind of crimes committed in the dead quiet of rural Australia...Temple offers some provocative and painful views of Australia's inner landscape." -The New York Times Book Review

"[Temple] writes so beautifully." - Salon.com

"One of the year's best mysteries...Drop everything and read this book." - Rocky Mountain News

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