Excerpt from The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Truth of All Things

A Novel

by Kieran Shields

The Truth of All Things
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2012, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jennifer Dawson Oakes

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


As one of Portland's three deputy marshals, Lean was in a small minority of citizens with a telephone in his home. After receiving the call, he had hurried down to meet the first patrolman who'd answered the watchman's frantic whistle. Other officers had since swept through the building, but Lean had kept them away from the body. He'd ordered the first patrolman to stand guard over the watchman inside the latter's shack, quarantining the only two known witnesses to the horrific details of the body. The dozen or so other buildings that made up the Portland Company's rail-car manufacturing grounds had been searched as well. He'd used the telephone in the company office to speak with the marshal and then sent word to the station to call in every available patrolman. Almost every one of Portland's three dozen police officers was now out on foot, searching for signs of the killer.

He looked down at the body once more. The passage of time since Lean had first viewed the corpse did nothing to alleviate the unexpected despair he'd felt when he first stood over the young woman's body and her face had still been warm to the touch. Even that last hint of life had since been stolen away. Now the woman's soul was one more hour removed from this world. The wide, unknowing look on her face remained, and the senseless horror of it all weighed on Lean. He fought down the urge to yank away the pitchfork still planted in her neck.

2

Dr. Virgil Steig was a slight man of about sixty with a neatly trimmed mustache and beard gone mostly white. From where he stood by the entrance to the machine shop, the doctor could hear the gentle sloshing of the harbor against the wharf pilings just a good stone's throw away. The various buildings of the locomotive foundry and machine works were crammed into ten waterfront acres near Portland's East End. At the sound of approaching horseshoes and the clatter of carriage wheels over the cobblestones, the doctor returned his attention to the land. He let his gaze drift past the carriage to the open space before him, then up to the dome of the Grand Trunk Railway. Dr. Steig stepped away from the machine shop door, ready to greet the mayor's landau as it arrived at the entrance to the Portland Company. A uniformed patrolman moved across the compound and opened the carriage door. The ample frame of Mayor Darius Ingraham disgorged itself from the cab.

"Dr. Steig. I should have known," the mayor said between heavy breaths. "The officer didn't mention it was you."

"Would you have come if he had?"

"This is no hour for jokes. Why the hell am I here?"

"I thought you'd want to see this, in a manner of speaking. It's going to cause quite a stir: a young woman." Dr. Steig led the mayor toward the front door.

"Prostitute?"

"Yes."

"That's something. I mean, it could be worse."

"Don't get your hopes up," said Dr. Steig.

"Who's the investigator?"

"Lean."

The mayor drew in his breath.

"You appointed him," said the doctor.

"There were other considerations."

"Aren't there always?"

The mayor seemed to weigh the need to defend himself but settled for, "Where is he?"

"Inside with the body."

"I don't know; he seems bright enough," the mayor said. "Plenty bright. Not the most seasoned."

"He's been around a few years."

"I have scars older than him." The doctor turned and reached for the doorknob. "I just think this case might warrant someone with a bit more expertise."

"It's just a dead whore, Virgil."

"And Macbeth is just a play about a Scotsman. All the same, better prepare yourself for what you're about to see." Dr. Steig led the way inside. Deputy Marshal Archie Lean was standing twenty paces ahead.

Excerpted from The Truth of All Things by Kieran Shields. Copyright © 2012 by Kieran Shields. Excerpted by permission of Crown. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Abenaki People

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.