Customer Reviews


51 Reviews
5 star:
 (18)
4 star:
 (9)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (9)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AND BEAUTY
"Truth" is a superior police thriller set in Melbourne, Victoria. Plot, character, setting and style reinforce one another brilliantly to make a rich, dark and satisfying whole.

Stephen Villani is Melbourne's Head of Homicide. In this book - which despite the minor reappearance of some characters from the also excellent "The Broken Shore" is standalone rather...
Published on 29 Mar 2010 by Diacha

versus
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intelligent but hard work
I've read all of Temples books... he's one of my favourite authors. His style is unique and takes some adjusting to, he introduces a lot of characters (usually known by several nicknames!) and generally its an idea to read his books in as few sittings as possible or you may find yourself scratching your head and flicking back through the pages.

In this...
Published on 10 Oct 2010 by milkyboy


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AND BEAUTY, 29 Mar 2010
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Truth (Hardcover)
"Truth" is a superior police thriller set in Melbourne, Victoria. Plot, character, setting and style reinforce one another brilliantly to make a rich, dark and satisfying whole.

Stephen Villani is Melbourne's Head of Homicide. In this book - which despite the minor reappearance of some characters from the also excellent "The Broken Shore" is standalone rather than part of a series - Villani faces two major cases. In the first, a young woman is found murdered in a VIP apartment in the city's new casino complex; in the second, three thugs are found tortured and murdered in the suburb of Oakleigh. This description does not do justice to Temple's extraordinary weave of sub-plot and sub-sub-plot. "Truth" encompasses politics, business, the media, race, intra-team and inter-team police dynamics, family issues across three generations, adultery, bush fires, technology, corruption and ghosts, both threatening and benign. A story diagram for "Truth" would look like the wiring blueprint for an Airbus A380. Yet, Temple pulls it off. The reader does not get lost but rather is absorbed in a complex and vaguely disturbing world.

Temple does not lose the reader because all the strands are held together in Steve Villani's head. He has a sharp and fluid intelligence and an internal compass that largely keeps him level despite the almost overwhelming accumulation of stresses and events. The rest of the large cast is strong too, ranging from Villani's tough gruff father, through Dove, his aboriginal assistant, and Rose Quirk the mother of a man killed by the police in an earlier case to various examples of Victoria's great and not- so-good.

"Truth's" Australian setting is refreshing, along with its idiom of barbies, sunnies, long blacks (a type of coffee), branchstackers (your guess is as good as mine) and Blind Freddy. It meets the crime book's challenge of finding something new without dragging us into the dreary depths of the Scandinavian soul or the artificial fog of Victorian London. Melbourne, here, is a complete world at once familiar and unfamiliar to the average British or American reader.

Temple writes beautifully. He favors short, tight sentences but does not write down to his readers. This is intelligent prose, with powerful images, flashes of humor and convincing dialogue. There is plenty of torque.

Temple's publishers have made comparisons to Coetze and Wolfe but this is not a novel that aspires to transcend the crime genre. It is satisfied to perfect it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars intelligent but hard work, 10 Oct 2010
This review is from: Truth (Paperback)
I've read all of Temples books... he's one of my favourite authors. His style is unique and takes some adjusting to, he introduces a lot of characters (usually known by several nicknames!) and generally its an idea to read his books in as few sittings as possible or you may find yourself scratching your head and flicking back through the pages.

In this offering, I felt the clipped prose was overdone, and at times it was hard work to establish who was saying (or more typically, implying with a nod and a wink) what to whom. I found myself regularly re-reading bits to make sure i'd got it.

The author is intelligent with a dry wit, but its a leap of faith to accept that all his characters in reality would share those traits with him... though I guess that's a trade off for a more entertaining read. Maybe the book was too smart for this reader, but whilst it never lost my interest I found it all a bit hard work to be honest.

If you're new to Temple I'd start elsewhere in his back catalogue before dipping in to this one.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece from Peter Temple, 4 Mar 2010
By 
Cletus (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Truth (Hardcover)
I have read all of Peter Temple's books and he keeps getting better. This book is incredible in its evocation of place, it's authenticity of language and development of character. I find myself re-reading whole pages, the dialogue is so good. This morning on the tube on the way to work I had to fight back tears after reading Villani's childhood memories of time with his father Bob. In a sense, the 'thriller' plotting of this book is like a skeleton, on which so much is hanging. The subtleties of relationships, their frailties, our capacity to love each other and hurt each other, have so much truth in them.

I have always considered James Lee Burke and John Le Carre to be the top protagonists of this genre, Peter Temple is as good as these guys.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Star Temple, 1 Aug 2011
This review is from: Truth (Kindle Edition)
I'm English and found the 'Australian' feel one of the best features of the book - a really fascinating taste of the differences in cultures. I found the short, sparse sentences very effective, and the characterization convincing. The plots are fine, certainly not impenetrable, and the formulas always applied with a degree of originality. Maybe the Broken Shore is even more atmospheric, and the Jack Irish series more entertaining in a satirical way, but this is full of political purpose (like James Lee Burke) and yet he has a quite separate and individual voice to any other crime novelist I have found. I have seen some people complaining that the whole thing is too bleak and the characters too unsympathetic. Well - that describes the reader as much as the book, for me. OK - so Macbeth is a gloomy play! I don't criticize it for that. Same applies. This is quality - and is a development from the earlier novels which is refreshing and arresting. I love the Robicheaux and Bosch series but they do repeat an awful lot. Go for it if you're undecided, but as always, it's much better to read the earlier books first. Particularly, Read The Broken Shore before this. Then you'll get a 5 star experience out of both books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Taut Thriller, 11 Sep 2010
By 
Mrs. C. Colbert (Blackburn, Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Truth (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those books which divides reviewers, 27 Dec 2012
By 
Dangerous Dave (Berkhamsted, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Truth (Paperback)
Currently there are 13 five star reviews against this book plus 7 folk who awarded four stars. However there were also 20 people who hated it based on their one or two star reviews and 8 "undecided" who went for the mid level three stars.

Just skimming through some of the negative reviews I found:

- style difficult to get used to,
- book just rambled between threads,
- bleak and sleazy,
- dialogue staccato and near unintelligible,
- badly written & poorly punctuated,
- impossible to follow (in part because of Australian references),
- too clever & convoluted.

Within the three star reviews, which often came from people who had read (and liked) one or more of Temple's earlier novels, there was a view that the author was trying to be too clever and arty but in the process had lost some of the strengths in plotting and characterisation which had strongly featured in his previous work.

As someone who had read and enjoyed most of the Temple oeuvre prior to "Truth" I have to say that I can empathise with all the above. I actually feel some sympathy for those reviewers who just couldn't "get" the book. Judging by dates, and by some comments, many of these readers will have bought the novel at a rock bottom price via the Amazon Daily Kindle deal and expected nothing more than an airport thriller cum page turner.

It's not that. In fact it's anything but that.

It is a thriller but it's one in which author Temple has made a very deliberate attempt to get inside the head of his principal character, Steve Villani, an inspector in the Melbourne police force. There are two crimes awaiting some form of solution and any number of chunks of Villani's past and present awaiting, perhaps, some kind of resolution or otherwise. Plot threads appear and disappear without any warning. To say that dialogue is clipped and sparse is an understatement. Innuendo and implication rule in conversation. But maybe that's how it appears through the Villani filter.

The last two points can make for difficult reading at times. I found myself going back over paragraphs quite frequently though I was almost invariably rewarded for the effort.

There's a fascinating view of Australian politics and the operation of the media which you rarely get in crime thrillers, though the Danish Killing TV series preceded by the Stieg Larsson trilogy may be responsible for some trend setting. With the 2012 Leveson report this all seems relevant & topical. A further element of topicality is added by the repeated mentions of forest fires north of Melbourne which occurred more than once in the mid to late noughties.

Much of the Melbourne we are immersed in in the novel is a million miles from the city seen by 99% of tourists. Casual racism, grinding poverty, corruption and crime wherever you look. Relentlessly depressing you might think yet it's enlivened by the occasional shaft of stinging humour (even if it does sometimes need translation).

There is a level of complexity and richness about the book which aligns it with those writers who operate on the borderlines of literary and genre fiction. The names of Le Carre and Lee Burke get ticked more than once in reviews. I'd add James Ellroy to that company though such comparisons could be deceptive; Peter Temple is very much his own man. He's also a man who's not happy merely to regurgitate refined versions of earlier successes.

Anyone who's got this far will have twigged that I rather like this book. I'd go a lot further and say that it was the best novel that I read in 2012. Sure it's flawed but in my humble view many of my favourite novels, pieces of music or whatever contain flaws and sometimes flaws are part of the attraction.

It must have had something to have spurred me into penning this review. I've uploaded a shipload of reviews up to now but this is my first of a novel!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly betwixt and between..., 11 Oct 2010
By 
bloodsimple (nottingham, uk) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Truth (Paperback)
Ah, how frustrating is this? There are parts of this novel that leave you nodding at the undoubted skill of the author. He can use words, this guy, and some phrases sing off the page. And yet. Not all aspects of the book are this skilful.

The novel follows a murder squad in Melbourne, with a counterpoint of one character's complex relationship with his laconic father, who lives on a farm threatened by bush fires. In some respects, the local details and the atmosphere are well presented. But there are problems. The plot is messy - some things are given undue emphasis that is not needed, and the storyline stutters rather than progresses. At times, relationships and characters are drawn too thinly, and become obvious ciphers or signposts, rather than being carefully drawn background to what is going on.

Overall, it is a good attempt at a more literary and meaningful type of crime thriller. But Temple seems to have forgotten to carefully plot, and this undermines the overall effect. The best parts are away from the crimes and the city entirely - where Villani wrestles with his relationship to his family. These moments make the Melbourne crime aspects appear almost unnecessary and obtrusive. The reader is left with the feeling that the novel falls between two stools.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best, 10 Jan 2010
By 
Bill Bell (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Truth (Hardcover)
Peter Temple is one of the best crime writers around. "Truth" is marketed as a sequel to the masterpiece "Broken shore". Well, it's not! The principal character in BS was the looner Joe Cashin, a country cop. In "Truth it's the acting boss of Homicide in Melbourne, Steve Villani. Quite a difference, ne'est-ce pas? The magnificent Joe Cashin appears in the last page of the book, but that doesn't make it a sequel. One of Temple's other character Jack Irish(four books)appears in a bar in this book, doesn't make it a Jack Irish book. Besides this unnecessary confusion, it's a great stand-alone book on the life of a city-copper. A grime tale of violence, murder, political ambition and how to live one's life at the center of so much death and mayhem. Villani is trying to be a father, a son, a brother, a lover and an uncorrupted policeman, but nothing much goes his way. Temple can really write, and he has an impressionistic language that works well for such a hardboild story as "Truth"(which also is a racehorse). Specially when he writes about his childhood. As in "Broken shore", it's almost poetical and the nature is constantly at the center. It's nearly a five star book, but it's not as good as "Broken shore" and the plot is a bit confusing, but it really is a good read and I recommend this book to everybody.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read, 2 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Truth (Kindle Edition)
I struggled with this book. It was interesting in that it was set in Melbourne for a change and the Australian dialogue reminded me of when I was there a few months ago. But this novel painted a far bleaker picture of the city than the one I saw.
The story was ok albeit a bit complicated with several cases being dealt with at the same time....the problem was the dialogue....it just jumped about and sometimes I just forgot who the persons were and, in fact, there were just too many characters involved.
I quite liked the main character....Head of Homicide (Inspector?).....just because he was so flawed.....and the background of corruption both in the police and government gave it an edge.
.....but at the end of the day it was so difficult to read I doubt if I'd read another by this author....life's too short.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Aussie writer, 2 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Truth (Kindle Edition)
Peter Temple really captures both the Aussie lingo and the character of the people. Immensely readable and as usual he doesn't disappoint with the storyline.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Truth
Truth by Peter Temple (Paperback - 1 July 2010)
5.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews