Sunday, December 4, 2016

Review: Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Bashir “Bish” Ortley is a London desk cop. Almost over it. Still not dealing with the death of his son years ago, as well as the break-up of his marriage.

Across the channel, a summer bus tour, carrying a group of English teenagers is subject to a deadly bomb attack, killing four of the passengers and injuring a handful of others. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

The suspect is 17 year old Violette LeBrac whose grandfather was responsible for a bombing that claimed the lives of dozens of people fourteen years ago; and whose mother, Noor, has been serving a life sentence for the part she was supposed to have played in the attack.
As Bish is dragged into the search for the missing Violette, he finds himself reluctantly working with Noor LeBrac and her younger brother, Jimmy Sarraf.

And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more Bish realizes that they may have got it wrong all those years ago, and that truth wears many colours. Especially when it comes to the teenagers on board the recent bus bombing. Including his daughter.

Tell the truth. Shame the devil. Bish can’t get Violette LeBrac’s words out of his head. But what he may get is some sort of peace with his own past as the worlds of those involved in two bombings, years apart, collide into the journey of his life.

My Thoughts
Tragic yet hopeful... my emotions are all over the place. Marchetta never disappoints. Once again Melina Marchetta delivers a profound and brilliant story that is both spell-binding and powerful.

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil reads like a movie script in the best possible way. Each scene is depicted so vividly that you’re effortlessly immersed in the moment, and you suddenly lose track of time. This book will definitely land in my top five for 2016.

As with her other novels, Melina Marchetta has a way of crafting a story that is painful, complex and topical. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil deals with subject matters such as the death of a parent and child, divorce, parental incarceration, social profiling, and terrorist attacks to name a few. And, Marchetta tackles these subjects with such bold confidence that as a reader, you simply surrender your imagination to her as she catapults you into her world and takes you on an unforgettable journey.

As is her style, Marchetta creates a story that is very character driven. Where with other authors, this technique can become cumbersome and complicated, Marchetta has a way of making the story flow with ease as she introduces new players as the story progresses. What makes her technique work is that she ensures each character carries their weight in the story in an equally important way. There wasn’t one character that I met in this book who didn’t play a vital role in developing the plot and contributing to the flow of events. It was all so carefully crafted and well executed from beginning to end.

What amazes me about this author, aside from her true gift of creativity, is Marchetta’s ability to effortlessly dabble in several genres with resounding success. She demonstrated her skill with children’s novels, contemporary young adult, fantasy young adult and now adult contemporary/drama. Proving her writing skills have no boundaries, I can’t wait to see what Marchetta creates in her next adventure.
5 Suns


  1. Awesome review for what sounds like a great read! I love when I enjoyed a book so much that I want to see it as a movie. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this one!

    1. Thank you Katie! I really enjoyed this one and would love to see them turn it into a movie.