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At The Close Of A Long Day, Inspector Stephen Villani Stands In The Bathroom Of A Luxury Apartment High Above The City In The Glass Bath, A Young Woman Lies Dead, A Panic Button Within ReachSo Begins Truth, The Sequel To Peter Temple S Bestselling Masterpiece, The Broken Shore, Winner Of The Duncan Lawrie Dagger For Best Crime NovelVillani S Life Is His Work It Is His Identity, His Calling, His Touchstone But Now, Over A Few Sweltering Summer Days, As Fires Burn Across The State And His Superiors And Colleagues Scheme And Jostle, He Finds All The Certainties Of His Life Are CrumblingTruth Is A Novel About A Man, A Family, A City It Is About Violence, Murder, Love, Corruption, Honour And Deceit And It Is About Truth


10 thoughts on “Truth

  1. says:

    Update I gave this to an English friend who read it at that hasty speed that means she couldn t put it down One of the comments she made afterwoods was Is food really like that She was struck by how ordinary people seemed to have very sophisticated tastes The answer is yes That s why I ve been having so much trouble in the UK where food, not to put to fine a point upon it, sucks.Same with coffee I don t drink it, but judging by the impressions I get from my many world experienced friends, coffee in Melbourne is the best in the world Indeed, a friend of mine came back to Manchester from Melbourne a while ago and has been trying ever since to teach the local coffee makers how to make coffee.Melbourne people don t just love food and love coffee They are fussy about it too So, this is the story that really says how it is Last time I was in Adelaide, I wandered past an ordinary suburban petrol station and observed the large billboard inviting you in to have a coffee prepared by their barista Not just any old barista, either Their barista had a photograph and a name Even by local standards and expectations that sort of blew me away The backdrop is bushfire.The end sees our hero and I use that word advisedly engulfed in flames, along with his father and brother as they fight to save their property When all is lost they climb into the water tank they are still going to die, presumably by boiling, but it gives them a few minutes Suddenly at the very last moment the wind turns, all are saved Ah, you think The artifice of the author An author can do that But the fact is bushfires do that Water has no agency A tsunami takes all in its path without exception If one is saved it is because one has fought to do so A tsunami bludgeons its way forward A bushfire appears sentient by contrast It is absolutely true that all properties surrounding a house might be lost, that one house miraculously standing It is absolutely true that the bushfire of its own volition turns certain death into a reprieve We city dwellers have not seen this, but nonetheless we have experienced it in some oddly intimate ways.The last terrible bushfires in Adelaide Huddled against a low stone wall are a group of people who are going to die One of them is a reporter and he is describing what is happening on radio as he crouches as low as he can with the others The background noise is the wailing of people who are about to be burned to death He now finds out for sure, just before he dies, that he is a true reporter through and through After all, how else could he do what he is doing His sense of calm is amazing So we are all pruriently listening to the distressed sounds of this group of people And then, at the very last second, the fire changes direction Certain death is still, in the grand scheme of things, certain, but not immediately foreseeable, at any rate.Same bushfires My sister is part of a hundred girls and staff at a retreat bang in the middle of the bushfires There are many anxious calls to the authorities about them, but they have rescued another such group nearby and nobody even realises these kids are there as well, trapped Eventually they retreat to the main hall, they put wet towels under the doors to futilely delay the inevitable and they pray There is nothing they can do They are about to be burned to death Suddenly, at the very last minute, the fire changes its mind It loses interest in them Moves on elsewhere Of course, there are the opposite stories too, the bad luck ones But the point is that the end of this story is the artifice not of the author, but of the bushfire.And lips are pursed by sour faced persons who think there is a difference between a who done it thriller which is widely and enthusiastically read, and literature.Because, you see, this book won Australia s major literary award, the Miles Franklin It is obvious why It is awarded to a book which is the best about Australian life in some way Tim Winton has won it a hundred times, half of them in abeyance for books he hasn t yet written but will I ve only read one of his books, but if it is any guide, they are richly deserved So is this one Quintessentially Australian Fabulously written.


  2. says:

    Truth is one of those crime books written for the literature set, the people who couldn t possibly read a genre novel normally, and as such it can get away with being completely obvious and drawing on every cliche plot point it feels like Of course there s an obligatory happy ending too to make them all feel real good about themselves for getting to the end of such a strong award winning deconstruction of what ails modern Australia.Peter Temple is clearly a good writer, and Truth is a strong novel with an interesting voice and protagonist, but great crime fiction takes chances, leaves the reader questioning the plot, wondering exactly what s wrong with the protagonist, and whether this is going to be one of those existential dilemmas from which there is only the inevitable moment when Sterling Hayden sees his suitcase of stolen money break open on an airport runway and gives up trying to escape the police to look forward to.There is an air of inevitability surrounding Truth, as Temple piles up layer after layer of typical plot fire threatened house, corrupt officials, disintegrating family unit, rich businessmen certain of their power to circumvent the law, drug addict daughter, etc etc etc etc even if you ve read only a few crime novels you know where this novel is going from the start and Temple leads you on this journey which you accept with hesitance because you re enjoying the scenery all the same, only for the most undeserved happy ending you can think of to come along and wrap things up nicely view spoiler You have a corrupt cop as a protagonist and NOTHING BAD HAPPENS TO HIM His adopted daughter who he constantly talks about not actually caring for dies, but he gets a promotion and his corruption gets swept under the carpet as if it s nothing acceptable for all concerned when moments before you re led to believe that it s time for him to literally bite the bullet, phew that s a relief for good old boy Steve Villani hide spoiler


  3. says:

    There s a very good reason critics have been falling over themselves to praise Peter Temple s new novel, Truth it s sublime.It s not often I read the last page of a book, close the cover and use an expletive to express how good it was The colourful language was partially a flow on of the abundance of profanity in the book, and mostly the fact it really was the best way to describe how impressed I was.Temple is a master at fusing literary and genre writing Truth is a gritty page turning crime novel It s also a surprisingly moving study of the frailty of machismo The Australian Review s Peter Craven said last year that The Broken Shore is a crime novel the way Cormac McCarthy s All the Pretty Horses is a western.Truth has been described as sequel of sorts to Temple s award winning 2005 novel, The Broken Shore But while it features some of the same characters and even gives a nod to his earlier fictional creation, Jack Irish , it can be read as a stand alone story.The central character is Stephen Villani, a peripheral character in The Broken Shore, who is now the head of Homicide for the much maligned Victorian Police Over a few scorching summer days, Villani must face personal and professional crises as he simultaneously deals with a series of brutal murders, corruption in his own ranks, and the disintegration of his family, all while bushfires bear down on Melbourne.It all starts with the murder of a young woman in the city s newest luxury high rise, followed by horrific torture killings of three hard core drug dealing criminals As Villani and his fractured team investigate, he finds himself heading into murky political waters.Villani s world is populated by politicians on the knife edge, charismatic entrepreneurs, well connected journalists and seedy underbelly criminals.For those unfamiliar with Temple s sparse prose, it can take time to settle into his rhythm and storytelling style.As a reader, you just have to dive in and hang on, even if you have no idea who s in a particular scene or even why He s a realist in the true sense In reality, we don t have internal monologue to provide exposition, and so it is with his characters But patience is rewarded often spectacularly.Although there are crimes to be solved and Temple gets to them he s primarily concerned with Villani s personal challenges Truth is about fathers and sons, and damaged relationships It s about hard men and the frailty inherent in them It s about authority and power, and the way men measure each other and demand respect.When it comes to dialogue, Temple is a master So much is conveyed with so few words Villani, in particular gets some wonderfully wry lines.When he asks his offsider, Bickerts about wellness spas, the detective replies Respect your body Think positive thoughts Live in the moment Villani What if the moment is absolutely shit Or when the forensics guy gives his report about a crime scene Man near entrance is shot in the head at close range from behind The other two, multiple stab wounds, genitals severed, other injuries Also head and pubic hair ignited, shot, muzzle in mouth Three bullets recovered, 45 calibre Villani So you can t rule out an accident There are definitely a lot of characters too many, to be honest but every one and every piece of information provided is important Nothing here is superfluous to the story All the dots connect in the end And brilliantly so.Melbourne s politicians, media and police hardly come up shining and recent headlines make the bleak picture painted in Truth all the disturbing , and yet Temple offers redemption for drug crippled city in the form of honest, if not heavily flawed, men and women.Truth had me marveling at its cleverness and honesty, and left me with a great sense of satisfaction at how it all came together As mentioned earlier, it also left me foul mouthed for a day or two Villani and his mates certainly don t talk sweetly to each other.I loved the Jack Irish series particularly Temple s debut Bad Debts , and enjoyed The Broken Shore, but Truth is now without question my favourite novel, from one of my favourite authors.


  4. says:

    Stephen Villani is no angel He is many things, but the most important thing to him is that he is the head of homicide in Melbourne, Australia.This book is his story and who he is, where he came from, and how he got there It is , but that is the loooong and short of it Lots of information about politics in Austraila, and within the police ranks It is several murder mysteries all wrapped up together and around Villani and his police cronies, upper bosses, former cops, his family, his father and brothers, a fire, and a political reporter The story stops and starts as it follows him around and delves into his thoughts and feelings, and his past It takes place in what seems to be the present but so much happens and has happened that it was a little hard for me to keep up at times My problem with keeping up is my lack of understanding fluent Australian The dialogue left me scratching my head too many times The glossary helped, but not enough.Not that I do not understand it, but here is a dialogue example from the book Be grateful people are looking out for you Villani did not feel grateful I m grateful, he said Yeah Searle s the worry here, he d like to see me buried Whole Searle family d have a wakey My distinction is, I punched out two Searles in one fight, this cunt s old man and his uncle, two weaker dogs you never saw Know that Yes, boss Everyone on the job knew it, it was legend From never speaking of it, Colby had now told the story five or six times in the last year Not a good sign Collingwood, of course, said Colby Fucking over the slopes, that was the Searle speciality Kings of Richmond, lords of Saturn Bay, there even the mozzies obey them and the tradies build their houses out of stuff stolen off building sites He coughed I gather you ve carried on Singleton s policy of treating Searle like dogshit He is dogshit No arguement on facts, your honour The point is I hear the squatter s wife s told the vermin he s her pick for media boss Subject to performance You with me Boss Pointing What s the red Old bloke hit me said Villani Colby blinked at him Not still doing that shit boxing Villani shrugged Why don t you go for a fucking walk in King Street People will hit you for nothing At the end of the book, I decided that I liked Steve Not as much as I liked the main character in the first book, Joe Cashin, but well enough I have a pretty good grasp of his homicide inspectors and who they are to Steve Villani If there is going to be another book, I will be reading it.


  5. says:

    Inspector Stephen Villani stands in a luxury apartment, a young woman dead in the bath He finds certainties of his life crumbling after the discovery of this murder His four months as the acting head of the Victoria Police homicide squad have not gone well first, two Aboriginal teenagers are shot dead and there is also no progress on the killing of a man in front of his daughter A novel about murder, corruption, treachery and ultimately the Truth.I didn t realise this was the sequel to The Broken Shore when I started this novel but seeing Inspector Stephen Villani was only a minor character in the first book I thought it was ok to continue But I wonder if I should have read them in order, because Truth never really clicked with me.The novel was very difficult to read and hold my attention the flashbacks, the sheer amount of characters and attempts at complexity made it really difficult to know what is what in this novel It tried to be a gritty police procedural with some political aspects but never really seemed to click While the main plot could have worked well, the flashbacks and cast size turned this book into a difficult book.I m surprised this book won the Miles Franklin award I know a lot of people that loved The Broken Shore and hated this book so I can t help but wonder if this book won based on the love of its predecessor It was interesting to see Peter Temple s character Jack Irish making an appearance in the book.I just don t see the appeal to this book but it wasn t the writing style that made this book so hard to read While this is the first Peter Temple book I ve read, I can see why he is one of Australia s better crime writers I will try The Broken Shore sometime just to see why one was so loved and this one was so hated.this review originally appeared on my blog


  6. says:

    Here is an author with a rich talent, a writer to compare with James Ellroy and his tough, taut LA prose Temple writes with a rare clarity that grabs and holds from the start There is no meandering here, no cluttering of precious words each one hits the mark.Truth succeeds as a well paced, most engaging crime novel, a world class effort It is also one of the best pieces of modern Australian fiction this decade, if not for many decades Courier Mail I hold him in the highest regard as a writer, both in terms of his choice and control of subject matter and his use of language, which is direct and, where necessary, evocative John Harvey Peter Temple is arguably our leading writer of crime fiction, if not one of Australia s best novelists regardless of genre.This is a complex, multi layered novel that weaves together past and present crimes with intricate family relationships and the smell of political corruption Temple reveals the unpleasant underside of Melbourne s bright facades Fans of good fiction can rejoice the king of Australian crime is back and in exceedingly good form Canberra Times Temple writes superbly with great visual acuity and moral intelligence He can twist a lifetime of loss or a career s worth of camaraderie around a few elliptical exchanges of police business and his spare, terse prose is lightened with images full of a quirky, unselfconscious poetry Adelaide Advertiser We have some astonishingly talented genre writers in Australia But if any single author is likely to break through the parchment ceiling, Peter Temple is the one The Broken Shore and Truth are to crime what Phoenix and Janus were to police drama on television Temple s prose is terse and potent, with all the torque of a truck engine.It s one to savour Australian Financial Review Temple is Australia s premier crime writer because his skill is words His characters are convincingly established and his observations of Melbourne s manners, milieus and s are spot on as soon as I put it down I wanted to read it again Herald Sun Temple s writing has never been precise or telegraphic Truth is both confronting and electrifying It is Temple s best book Age Books come and go The lesser ones automatically take themselves off to the great rubbish bin in the brain, but the really, really good ones get stuck there Peter Temple s latest book, Truth , is one that sticks Story, style, suspense, supremely good use of punctuation all the facets of Temple s latest gem make an indelible impression..Absent mothers, unspoken tensions, family secrets all hover like shadows over this story, as Temple prods the awkward beauty of men s emotions, however deeply buried they can be It is mesmerizing reading, and the tension he builds is so intense that as you make it to the final chapters you almost have to take the book in doses It s potent stuff, and it marks Peter Temple as one of our greatest writers, regardless of genre Sunday Telegraph Temple s characters are complex, his plots complicated, his world smudged if not outright dirty You want a mindless beach read Skip this You want to be bitch slapped into full attention by a master Come ahead Head Butler


  7. says:

    Have you ever liked a book but not been able to put your finger on exactly why you liked it This was that book for me About a year and a half ago, a friend of mine had told me about another book written by Peter Temple titled The Broken Shore I read that book, and liked the characters and stories At the time, she told me that this book was coming out and that it had some of the same characters in it As a result, I have waited for this book to come out for a long time Mr Temple is an Australian author, so this book came out in Australia quite a while ago In fact, it has won a couple of award in the country so far Unfortunately, Mr Temple is not really a well known author in the US, so it took quite a while for the book to come out here Finally, in May 2010 it was published in the US and I immediately put myself on the list at my local library Once the book finally arrived, imagine my dismay in finding out that the main character in this book was a relatively minor character in The Broken Shore, and in fact, he was the character that I liked the least in that story Stephen Villani is the hard boiled head of Homicide in Melbourne, Australia His life is a mess, he curses every other word, he is not in any way a sympathetic character Imagine my surprise when I began to like him In fact, his flaws and foibles were what I liked about him He was the perfect character to illustrate the many pitfalls and drawbacks to working in a the police department of a large city In addition, the story, which at first seemed disjointed, turned out to be a wonderfully layered story that dovetailed to the appropriate ending This was not your typical good guy vs bad guy story In fact, throughout the book my opinion of which characters were on which sides of the line kept changing Around the background of a story about two seemingly unrelated murders being investigated by the Homicide Department of the Melbourne Police is a wonderful story about power hungry politicians, government corruption, and the pitfalls of trying to work within the system to actually bring justice for the victims and to the criminals We will just say that this is not your typical the cops are the good guys story, which made the story grow on me the I read.


  8. says:

    This book was suppose to be a sequel to The Broken Shore but I found it very disappointing I was hoping to find some answers about Cashin but he only had a small cameo appearance in the book and the main character in Truth had a small bit part in The Broken Shore So it isn t my idea of a sequel.Now lets get onto the dissection of the the crime part of the crime novel Well, yes there is a gruesome crime that occurs but the book is concerned about the main characters relationship with his wife, his children, his mistress, his father and finally his brothers The book is so jammed packed with all of this other stuff that it actually has no real plot and the investigation of the crime feels secondary to everything else in the book.As I am only just getting into the crime novel scene I was really disappointed with this one The author jumps all over the place and sometimes I found myself stopping and thinking did I just miss something here And then had to skim back over the pages just to be sure No, it is the book The language slang was also hard to follow, even for an Australian So, sorry, I really didn t like the book much at all.


  9. says:

    A tough story from the Melbourne Homicide Squad a mysterious murder of a young prostitute and a gangland style killing of three men Massive political intrigue within the force and outside as well with elections pending and major investors circling some new schemes The dialogue is hard bitten and tough throughout as personal tragedy hits Steve Villani, the Chief of Homicide Great book.


  10. says:

    A gritty look at the Melbourne underworld and police at the end of the turbulent 90s for the Victorian Police Melbourne was notorious for it s criminal underbelly, and it s in some parts, morally dubious policy force We all had jokes at the time about the Victorian Police shooting first, and asking questions later This was a world we knew of, if we hadn t experienced directly, and this book is a nice insight into this world and made it understandable After struggling through so many books recently, coming back to an Australian read was like sinking into a hot bath So much was familiar, or didn t take a moment to work out what was going on, or what people where saying, I should have done this earlier.Not as good as The Broken Shore I felt, and therefore I am not quite sure why it won the Miles Franklin I personally had a bit of trouble keeping up with who was who in Villani s team, just as most characters in the team where not fleshed out or really given any character development besides Dove They were plot tools, and read like them It s not a 3 star read for me, but not a 4, however I will round up Look forward to delving into the Jack Irish series at some stage And to answer the questions that have come up again and again in other reviews Yes, Australians speak like that.Yes, that is the type of food we eat.