The Broken Shore
By Peter Temple
Joe Cashin, a city homicide cop recovering from an injury and broken by his last case, returns to the quiet coastal area of South Australia where he grew up to run its one-man police station while his wounds heal and the nightmares fade. He lives a quiet life with his two dogs in the tumbledown wreck his family home has become. It's a peaceful existence - ideal for the rehabilitating man. There he investigates the beating death of elderly millionaire Charles Bourgoyne. After three aboriginal teens try to sell Bourgoyne's missing watch, the cops ambush the boys, killing two. When the department closes the case, Joe, a melancholy, combative cynic sympathetic to underdogs, decides to find the truth on his own. His unauthorized inquiry, which takes him both back in time and sideways into a netherworld of child pornography and sexual abuse, leads to a shocking conclusion.
The relentless story of a town with a hidden past versus a man who is trying to forget his, "The Broken Shore" delivers powerful, lean writing. Temple chooses his words carefully and sparingly. Incisively drawn characters combine with stunning descriptions of the wild, lush, menacing Australian landscape to make this an unforgettable read.
Watch the First Tuesday Book Club's review of this novel.