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.
Melina Marchetta’s novels have been published in eighteen countries and in seventeen languages. Melina’s first novel, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards for young adult fiction when it was published, winning the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Award for Older Readers among many others. It was also released as an award-winning film, 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.
Melina taught secondary-school English for ten years, during which time she released her second novel Saving Francesca, which won the CBCA Book of the Year Award for Older Readers, followed by On the Jellicoe Road, which won the American Library Association’s Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature in 2009. Melina’s next novel, Finnikin of the Rock, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and was followed by The Piper’s Son, the critically acclaimed companion novel to Saving Francesca. Melina has also written a book for younger readers, The Gorgon in the Gully, which was released in 2010. The second book in the Lumatere Chronicles, Froi of the Exiles, was published in 2011 to much international praise. Melina has completed her second screenplay, On the Jellicoe Road, which was chosen to be part of Screen New South Wales Aurora Script Workshop, and she has also written episodes for ABC-TV’s Dance Academy. The final novel in The Lumatere Chronicles, Quintana of Charyn, was released in September 2012. A companion short story to the Lumatere Chronicles, “Ferragost” was published in the Review of Australian Fiction.