This week’s book is a hard-hitting story about family, secrets and the unexpected reality behind acts of terror. It’s intense and evocative and is centred around deeply likeable characters.
Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil
Pages per day: 58
I’ve been a fan of Melina Marchetta ever since that teenage rite of passage of reading Looking for Alibrandi for the first time. Her writing is inspiring and easy to read, providing you with perfect lunch break escapes from reality. Little did I know, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil proved to be fast-paced and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful, ensuring I couldn’t simple pick up the book for a quick bit of light reading.
This book tells the story of London Met Chief Inspector, Bish Ortley. He’s dealing with alcohol addiction and is still coming to terms with the death of his only son. After losing his job for assaulting a fellow officer, a bomb goes off on the bus which is carrying students, including his only remaining child – his daughter, Bee. While she survives, physically unscathed, two students disappear – one of which is the daughter of Noor LeBrac, a woman who is currently serving a life sentence in connection to a bombing attack which killed dozens of people thirteen years earlier.
Bish is an reluctantly likeable character (and I mean that in the best possible way) who has a quick wit and self-destructive tendencies. Watching his transformation throughout this story is inspiring and intriguing, as we are shown the power of family, and the power of having a purpose. Bee’s character adapts too, gaining a new sense of respect for her father after watching him defend the reputation of her friends. It’s hard to find a character in this book, important or not, that doesn’t go through some kind of transformation, and it allows us to connect with them on a personal level.
The fact that Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil addresses some points at the very heart of terrorism, a topic currently widely discussed in the media, makes it hard-hitting and close to home. It forces you, as the reader, to look beyond the act to the people it affects – including the perpetrator’s family. Terrorism isn’t the only culturally relevant topic this book explores, with it also speaking, in passing, of Islamophobia and the way Islam is portrayed by the media.
I am rarely quite as enthralled when reading a book as I was reading Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. The drama was fast-paced and exciting, and the characters were complex and intriguing, leaving you wishing you knew them in real life. With a few twists along the way, this book will leave you guessing until the very end. I can honestly say that the last few scenes in this story are some of the best I’ve ever read.
You can purchase Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil from Book Depository here, with free shipping worldwide.
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Next week’s book is Goodwood by Holly Throsby – make sure to check in! If you’ve got any other suggestions for book for my challenge, I’d love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below.
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~Some links in this article are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase something from them, but I will earn a small commission (while not costing you any extra). This does not influence my recommendation in any way, I would still use and recommend this product even if I were not an affiliate.~