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4.0 out of 5 stars ‘Cashin walked around the hill, into the wind from the sea.’, June 1 2014
Jennifer Cameron-Smith "Expect the Unexpected" (ACT, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broken Shore (Paperback)
Joe Cashin is a wounded homicide detective. While he recovers from injuries incurred during a botched stake-out in Melbourne, he’s been sent run the small police station in his home town of Port Monro on the Victorian coast. It all seems a far cry from Melbourne: a typical day in Port Munro might include a neighbourhood dispute over a tree, a vandalised park bench and a woman with a black eye who wants her husband warned.

But the tempo quickly increases when a wealthy local resident, Charles Bourgoyne is found dead, with his expensive Breitling watch missing. Senior Detective Hopgood from the town nearby believes that the local Aboriginal community is responsible for the murder. Politicians become involved and racial tensions flare, especially after two boys die in avoidable and regrettable circumstances.

Cashin is put in charge of the investigation: why, and by whom, was Charles Bourgoyne killed? Is the local Aboriginal community involved and is it possible to get beyond the suspicion between the communities in order to find out the truth? At the same time as he is investigating Charles Bourgoyne’s murder, Joe Cashin is dealing with some issues of his own. Will he be able to rebuild his home with the help of the itinerant Rebb? Can he revisit the past without becoming lost in it?

‘Being alive’s a present,’ said Rebb. ‘Every minute of every hour of every day.’

I picked this novel up on the recommendation of a friend, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The themes include a number of big issues such as police corruption and Aboriginal politics, but there are other twists and turns to negotiate. It’s a very Australian novel in setting and presentation, but the events portrayed could happen anywhere. Sadly.

The world Peter Temple has created in this novel comes to life because of the believable human networks he has created around Joe Cashin. I’ll be looking to read more of Peter Temple’s novels.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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The Broken Shore
The Broken Shore by Peter Temple (Paperback - Feb. 26 2008)
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