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Publisher's Summary

Melina Marchetta's gripping new novel Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is part family saga, part crime fiction, and wholly unputdownable.

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.

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is an irresistible novel about human identity, lost children and the nature of real love. With a cast of unforgettable characters and Melina Marchetta's trademark social insight and wry wit, it's a cracking fusion of suspense and heart-rending drama.

©2016 Melina Marchetta (P)2016 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A vivid, compelling account of a life on the edge." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Emotionally complex characters complement an intricate plot rife with dizzying twists and devastating reveals." (Publishers Weekly)
"Melina Marchetta doesn’t shy away from the authentic emotions of her characters, her writing capturing their joy and pain...a clear-sighted adult-fiction debut." (Books + Publishing)

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  • Kate Louise Webster
  • 03-10-17

Slow burn, great story

It took me a while to pull the pieces of the varied storyline together but as I did I fell in love with the detailed characters. Then, I didn't want the book to end.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Julie
  • 01-10-17

Melina Marchetta never disappoints

A relevant story for our modern troubled times involving complex teenagers and adults who make you love them for both their strengths and flaws.