Aussie Author Challenge Australian Women Writers Book Reviews

Book Review: Tell the truth, shame the devil #AusRead17 #AWW2017

Detective Inspector Bashir (Bish) Ortley of the London Met Police has recently been suspended from the force for his behaviour. He spends his days drinking and drowning his grief of his broken marriage to Rachel, his dead son and his emotionally distant teenage daughter, Bee. Bish’s world is thrown upside down when he receives a call of a British school bus being bombed in France. It’s the same bus his daughter was on.

Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Thirteen years ago, Violette’s maternal grandfather bombed a London supermarket killing over twenty people. Her mother, Noor LeBrac, is serving a life sentence for being involved in the same incident. Violette has been raised in Australia since the death of her father and incarceration of her mother. Before her part in this tragedy can be determined, she disappears.

Bish was involved in Noor’s arrest but now he must question everything that happened back then. As he looks for Violette, he also has to figure out the truth.

This is my first book by author Melina Marchetta. Marchetta is well-known for her YA fiction and while this novel does involve teenagers, it is most certainly an adult novel. Covering themes of racism, ethnic identity, teenage identity and intergenerational trauma, this book has it all. It’s filled with the right amount of suspense to keep the page turning. Marchetta points out those stereotypes we all have but are ashamed to admit. She is likely to make some readers squirm as they recognise themselves succumbing to stereotypes.

The teenage characters are well-developed with several nuances but being a YA author, it’s obviously her strength. Bish is an interesting character with shades of grey. He’s not necessarily likeable but not abhorrent either. There are several other sub-plots and while there are no jaw-dropping surprises, one or two sub-plots may have not been needed. The best bit was the strength of the female characters — Noor, Bee, Rachel, Bish’s mother Saffron and Violette herself. They carry the story even though it’s Bish who is the protagonist. He has to depend on all the different women in his life to help two others.

My rating:

***This has been read and reviewed for the 2017 Aussie Author Challenge and the 2017 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Also linking up with Kylie for IBOT***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

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  • Denyse
    7 February 2017 at 11:30 am

    Interesting to see her work featured. I have only ever seen her work via the movie Looking for Alibrandi which was good. I have seen her interviewed ages ago and believe she is/was a high school teacher. Noticed the central coast library sticker! Hope things continue to go well for you. Denyse #teamIBOT
    Denyse recently posted…Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.My Profile

  • Denyse
    7 February 2017 at 11:30 am

    Interesting to see her work featured. I have only ever seen her work via the movie Looking for Alibrandi which was good. I have seen her interviewed ages ago and believe she is/was a high school teacher. Noticed the central coast library sticker! Hope things continue to go well for you. Denyse #teamIBOT
    Denyse recently posted…Meditations for Back to School. 2017.22.My Profile

  • Hugzilla
    7 February 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I thought the authors name sounded familiar and then you mentioned YA and the penny dropped! Interesting to see that she has moved into adult fiction – the space she is writing in is quite competitive too.

  • Hugzilla
    7 February 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I thought the authors name sounded familiar and then you mentioned YA and the penny dropped! Interesting to see that she has moved into adult fiction – the space she is writing in is quite competitive too.

  • texerinsydney
    7 February 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I agree completely with your assessment of this book. The only reason why I didn’t rate it 5 stars was the couple of unnecessary subplots, like you mentioned.
    texerinsydney recently posted…3 + 3My Profile

  • texerinsydney
    7 February 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I agree completely with your assessment of this book. The only reason why I didn’t rate it 5 stars was the couple of unnecessary subplots, like you mentioned.
    texerinsydney recently posted…3 + 3My Profile

  • Jodi Gibson
    7 February 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read this one. Like so many others on my ‘to-read’ list!
    Jodi Gibson recently posted…How to get focused: My 2017 PlanMy Profile

  • Jodi Gibson
    7 February 2017 at 2:26 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read this one. Like so many others on my ‘to-read’ list!
    Jodi Gibson recently posted…How to get focused: My 2017 PlanMy Profile

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    7 February 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I’m starting this as soon as I finish Postcards from the Edge!

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    7 February 2017 at 7:32 pm

    I’m starting this as soon as I finish Postcards from the Edge!

  • Rajlakshmi
    8 February 2017 at 1:08 pm

    This sounds like an interesting thriller novel. I have always wondered though, why the protagonist always have failed marriages or love life ?
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…From Princess to PhlegmMy Profile

  • Rajlakshmi
    8 February 2017 at 1:08 pm

    This sounds like an interesting thriller novel. I have always wondered though, why the protagonist always have failed marriages or love life ?
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…From Princess to PhlegmMy Profile