The press has now revealed that she is the youngest member of one of London’s most notorious families. Thirteen years earlier, her grandfather set off a
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Just getting this out of the way first: Marchetta is one of my favourite YA authors. Her writing and detailed characterization are flawless. On the Jellicoe Road is heartbreaking. The Piper’s Son hurts so good. The Finnikin of the Rock trilogy is one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. I’m telling you because – even though this didn’t live up to my expectations – I don’t want you to think that Marchetta is anything other than fantastic.
My issue with Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is tha
i added this book to my to-read list before there was even a synopsis up. that’s how much i love this author. and then, once it was up, i admit to being a little confounded – marchetta is writing an adult crime fiction thriller about an english cop investigating a bus bombing? it seemed so far outside of her usual wheelhouse.
which just shows how very little i know about marchetta’s wheelhouse.
because this was fantastic.
it’s definitely more crime fiction than mystery, even though there is a whod
it was amazing
The best thing about Melina Marchetta (MM) is that she writes stories about families. It doesn’t matter if it is her Fantasy or Contemporary at the heart of it the story is about the people, the families that you are both born too and the ones you create along the way in your life. I have never been disappointed in the way that she makes me feel something for every character in her story. I go through every emotion when I go on the journey with them. I am overjoyed to tears, heartbroken, happy,
In every book I’ve read by MM there is one moment in the story, or a story within the story that completely grips me and touches me in a way that I wish everything I read had something in it like that. Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil has an amazing story about a watch that could have been a book all on its own, because in two pages she told a gripping tale of a family’s history and it was beautiful, poetic, tragic and wonderful all at the same time.
This is a little different than some of the other books by MM as it is a psychological thriller and still it is a story about the characters. Bish is the focus of the story. He is still in the grips of guilt and loss after the death of his son that also tore his marriage apart and placed a wedge between him and his grieving daughter. Even though he is a mess from the beginning I was really rooting for him.
The story takes off pretty fast as his daughter’s bus was bombed while on a holiday tour and Bish is thrust into the middle of the investigation. I think this book dealt really well with how social media and the public can be both a help and a hindrance to investigations. How after the events of 9/11 the world perception changed and that isn’t necessarily always a good thing. How prejudice and public pressure can lead to disaster. I don’t want you to think this book was preachy because I never felt like it was. But I did feel like it was honest about some things that we don’t like to be honest about.
The Best Parts:
As always with a Marchetta book the best parts are the people, their histories and how it all works out in the end. Every person in this book was flawed in some way and that made them all the more read for me.
Violetta is the daughter of a woman convicted of a horrendous bombing. Her mother has been in prison for the last 13 years of her life and every person in her family has been touched by that in some way. But I loved that that family felt closer together than most of us who see each other every day.
Bish and his ex-wife have a history and she is now pregnant with another child. But I thought that the relationship that family has while incredibly complicated was completely beautiful too. I felt the pain and the hope that they held for each other and how even though they were divorced they still loved each other and wanted the other to be happy. It wasn’t perfect but they were trying to be the best people towards each other they could be even if they were no longer together.
He walked her down to the tube station, knowing Maynard would be waiting for her at Ashford, and it made him melancholy. His hand almost tempted to take hers. It seemed the natural thing to do, and because Rachel was more evolved than Bish, she took his. The next time he saw her, she’d likely have had the baby. How strange it would sound to hear Bee speak about a brother who wasn’t Stevie. Who wasn’t theirs. He stood with her on the platform in silence until the tube came. “Would it seem odd to say that I want you to have a place in this kid’s life?” she asked. Bish could hardly be a player in his own life, let alone another man’s child’s.
And the there is Noor. Wow…just wow. I don’t think I can say enough about how rich I found her character to be. She was a brilliant woman who gave up her future for the lives of her family. Her entire story was so compelling to me that I loved and hated every section of it as it was doled out. The best part about her was how strong she was in this story. She sees people, like really sees them deep down to the core and I adored how she cut to the quick of it. Sometimes she was kind, sometimes harsh, but always I found her character honest.
“I know about guilt,” she said.
“Yes, you would.”
“Not mine. The only guilt I’ve ever felt is for catching Etienne LeBrac’s eye in the cafeteria of St. John’s College and ruining his life by association,” she said. “I’m talking about yours.”
He stood to leave.
“You feel guilty because you weren’t on that beach to save him.” Her words gutted him. “Your ex-wife feels guilty because she thinks she’s not going to love her new child as much as she loved your son. And your daughter feels guilty that she’s not dead and her brother is. So who’s the better detective here?”
There are so many other smaller character parts that cling to me but you’ll just have to read this to find those gems for yourself.
Don’t let the book topic scare you. I don’t read many thrillers unless they are Urban Fantasy or a romance with a murder mystery. So the topic of this book was a little out of my comfort zone. But that didn’t really matter, because the story is so compelling and the characters are really interesting that I believe no matter what kind of reader you are there could be something in this story for you. Plus I really liked how it incorporated how people are today with their phones and social media and how all of that plays a part in the way that information is shared and used in both positive and negative ways.
If you have read any of MM’s other works then I’m sure you will find the same fantastic storytelling at the core. If you have never read a MM book this might be a really great entry point for you to see if you enjoy her style of storytelling since this is completely a standalone.