This is a quality early novel by Temple - not as good as "The Broken Shore" or "Truth", the latter being his undeniable masterpiece to date, this shows Temple's evolution from standard crime mystery writing to a higher standard of crime fiction. Whilst far from perfect, it makes for a very engaging read and has a "cold ring of truth" to its conclusion. Fast-paced, well edited, but in some places a little too convenient or a little too under-developed. Like a James Ellroy novel pre-L.A. Quartet. If you're after the lush descriptive passages of Bryce Courtenay, you will not find it here. But the terse and often darkly comedic tone is highly reminiscent of early hard boiled crime fiction, albeit with an Australian setting, and so if you like that sort of crime fiction, definitely give this a shot.
The penultimate entry in the Dark Tower saga is also one of the shorter books, but lacks nothing for its comparative brevity. With a fine performance by George Guidall, this rates up there as one of my favourite audiobook experiences ever...
If "The Broken Shore" was Temple's evolution from the world of hard-boiled crime fiction to poignant crime drama, then "Truth" is his evolution from poignant crime drama to crime epic masterpiece. No longer content with small settings and particular crimes, with "Truth" Temple takes on the institutions charged with fighting crimes - the police, state politics and the money men behind the politicians. What emerges is a complex narrative that follows the head of the Victorian state homicide unit as he tries to negotiate the continuance of his career amongst a crumbling family life and a case with too many political implications. "Truth" paints a very vivid portrait of the crime scene in Victoria, and those responsible for policing homicides - and in that way stands out far above its contemporaries in Australian crime fiction more interested in police procedurals or unstoppable private investigators. Highly recommended for those of you who watched and enjoyed "The Wire".
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