Melina Marchetta's gripping new novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is a cracking fusion of suspense and heart-rending drama.
Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he's no sooner suspended from the force than a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish's daughter is one of those on board.
Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette's part in the French tragedy can be established she disappears.
Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac's arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.
With its cast of unforgettable characters, social insight and wry wit, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is an irresistible novel about human identity, lost children and the nature of real love.
'The complex, fast-moving plot, Marchetta's vivid evocation of her characters, and her perfect ear for dialogue are seductive . . . An immersive reading experience.' Australian Book Review
'Marchetta . . . seems to have inside knowledge of the mysterious processes of the teenage brain. A busload of quarrelsome, immature adolescents doesn't daunt her in the least . . . all stand out as individuals.' Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
'A novel of great scope, of past and present, and above all, the Marchetta trademark of a fierce and loving heart.' Marcus Zusak
'Emotionally complex characters complement an intricate plot rife with dizzying twists and devastating reveals. This visceral read manages to capture the emotional aftermath of a mass tragedy while sustaining tension and delivering a scathing indictment of racial profiling, vigilante justice, and the 24-hour news cycle.' Publishers Weekly 'This is a cracking read that's also timely and intelligent . . . Everything works together in this book . . . It's a big, juicy story filled with many characters and Marchetta is a master storyteller. On occasion, even cynical reviewers stay up long past bedtime, nodding and turning pages. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil deserves to be on the bedside table of every crime fan.' The Saturday Paper 'An electrifying contemporary detective thriller.' Fiona Hardy, Books & Publishing 'Marchetta is a wonderful storyteller, with every interaction important, thrilling, enjoyable, or all of the above, and every character gifted with such an honest, gloriously vivid life of their own that reading the whole thing in a searing rush of pages in one sitting is irresistible.' Readings Monthly 'A stunning marriage of global anguish and personal pain . . . often heartbreaking, sometimes heart-stopping, and definitely unforgettable.' Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street 'Heart-pounding (and heartbreaking) . . . Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go until I'd read the last word - and shed the last tear.' Gayle Forman, author of If I Stay and Leave Me 'A good, long, engrossing leisure read is assured.' Weekend Australian
'This fast-paced novel has a great balance of humanity, thriller and hidden pasts.' Manly Daily
'[A] slick combination of crime thriller and family drama . . . The vibrant characters leap from the pages as Marchetta builds up the suspense to a superb crescendo.' Women's Weekly
Melina Marchetta is a bestselling author in more than twenty countries and eighteen languages. She has published award-winning young adult, fantasy and crime fiction, including her acclaimed crime novel, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. Her much-loved Australian classic, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards when it was published, and was also released as a film, adapted by Marchetta, winning an AFI Award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay, as well as the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award. The companion novel to Marchetta's award-winning book Saving Francesca, The Piper's Son, also received much acclaim in Australia and internationally, and in 2009 Marchetta won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for Jellicoe Road. She lives in Sydney.