I have just finished reading a proof copy of Truth, the latest novel by Peter Temple. The book will be published in the UK by Quercus on 7 January 2010, so my review will appear here in the new year. I'm still reeling from reading this book: a few excerpts might help to show why, and to whet the appetites of any eagerly awaiting readers.
Di Palma offered his hand, Villani shook it. Then he shook Orong's treacherous little hand. He left the offices, walked down the cool and self-important corridor. From the walls, the dead watched him pass, they had seen many a coward come and go.
In a short time, he was on the street, orange sun behind the haze, looking for Finucane, unaccountably thinking about the first horse Bob raced, the best horse he ever had, the lovely little grey called Truth who won at her second start, won three from twelve, always game, never gave up. She sickened and died in hours, buckled and lay, her sweet eyes forgave them their stupid inability to save her.
A hot north-west wind on their faces, another blocking system was idling out in the southern ocean. Two long valleys ran from the north-west towards Selbourne, the main road down one of them. The fire would come as it came to Marysville and Kinglake on that February hell day, come with the terrible thunder of a million hooves, come rolling, flowing, as high as a ten-storey building, throwing red-hot spears and fireballs hundreds of metres ahead, sucking air from trees, houses, people, animals, sucking air out of everything in the landscape, creating its own howling wind, getting hotter and hotter, a huge blacksmith's reducing fire that melted humans and animals, detonated buildings, turned soft metals to sliver flowing liquids and buckled steel.
He switched off his lights and went to the window. Below, the bright ribbons of traffic. Across the road, the dark of the school and its grounds, the botanic gardens. Then, far away, the gloss of the highways, and, in the sky, gleaming in the clouds, the full luminescence of the huge city.
Peter Temple is Australia's most acclaimed crime and thriller writer – the only author to have won the Ned Kelly prize five times. The Broken Shore won the CWA Gold Dagger, as well as several other prestigious awards. Peter Temple is South African by birth and lives in Ballarat, Australia with his family. Truth his his ninth novel. He is also author of the Jack Irish series: Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point and (yet to be published in the UK) White Dog. Other novels by Peter Temple are Shooting Star, In the Evil Day and An Iron Rose. Without exception, they are wonderful.