Published by: Quercus Books (1st July 2010)
Pages: 406 (Paperback)
My Rating: 7/10
TRUTH BY PETER TEMPLE
About the Book:
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. Villani’s job as the head of the Victoria Police Homicide Squad is bathed in blood and sorrow. Incapable of constancy as a father and husband, damaged as a son, his life is his work. It is his identity, his calling, his touchstone. Now, over a few sweltering summer days, as fires burn across the state and his superiors and colleagues scheme and jostle, his soul is about to be laid bare. Truth 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.
Set in Melbourne, Australia it took me a while to get used to Peter Temple's short sharp sentences where not one word is wasted in this compelling and taut thriller.
As the new Head of Homicide, Steve Villani doesn't trust anyone to do the job properly, he has to know everything, the previous Head (Singo) believed that :
Homicide ate you........Singo told them not to obsess but he judged them by how much they obsessed, how little time they spent at home. No one survived who didn't pass the HCF test: Homicide Comes First.
At the beginning, Villani comes across as an unpleasant character, but he was compelling to know, brought up by a father who showed him no love, he only sees the seedy side of the people and the city and thought he was just like his old boss in many ways. Throughout the book Villani reminisces about his personal life, his failed marriage, his daughter who gets mixed up with the wrong people, his childhood where he and his father plant a whole forest of trees together, his relationships with friends, and we gradually see a different side to him, one which he never shows to his colleagues.
This is a fascinating mix of political intrigue, multiple murders and big business and the writing never slows, the pace is relentless. It was set against the backdrop of a raging fire which is coming ever closer to his father's farm which adds another dimension to the suspense.
There were so many characters and I got confused quite often as to who was who, in fact one person was mentioned early on and I only found out who he was half way through, which I found quite annoying.
Overall, a fast and furious thriller. If you're looking for a 'hard-boiled' crime novel then you won't be disappointed.