The Broken Shore

Paperback | February 26, 2008

byPeter Temple

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Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction (Australia)

Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then. He was surer and less thoughtful. But there are consequences when you’ve come so close to dying. For Cashin, they included a posting away from the world of Homicide to the quiet place on the coast where he grew up. Now all he has to do is play the country cop and walk the dogs. And sometimes think about how he was before.

Then prominent local Charles Bourgoyne is beaten and left for dead. Everything seems to point to three boys from the nearby Aboriginal community; everyone seems to want it to. But Cashin is unconvinced. And as tragedy unfolds relentlessly into tragedy, he finds himself holding onto something that might be better let go.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction (Australia)Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then. He was surer and less thoughtful. But there are consequences when you’ve come so close to dying. For Cashin, they included a posting away from the world of Homicide to the quiet place on the coast where he grew up. Now all he...

Five-time winner of the Ned Kelly Award for Crime Fiction, Peter Temple is Australia’s most acclaimed crime and thriller writer. He is the author of four Jack Irish novels: Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point and White Dog. He has also written three other standalone novels: An Iron Rose, Shooting Star and In the Evil Day. He lives in Vic...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.5 × 5.1 × 0.8 inPublished:February 26, 2008Publisher:Random House Of CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307355713

ISBN - 13:9780307355713

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Extra Content

Read from the Book

CASHIN WALKED around the hill, into the wind from the sea. It was cold, late autumn, last glowing leaves clinging to the liquidambars and maples his great-grandfather’s brother had planted, their surrender close. He loved this time, the morning stillness, loved it more than spring. The dogs were tiring now but still hunting the ground, noses down, taking more time to sniff, less hopeful. Then one picked up a scent and, new life in their legs, they loped in file for the trees, vanished. When he was near the house, the dogs, black as liquorice, came out of the trees, stopped, heads up, looked around as if seeing the land for the first time. Explorers. They turned their gaze on him for a while, started down the slope.He walked the last stretch as briskly as he could and, as he put his hand out to the gate, they reached him. Their curly black heads tried to nudge him aside, insisting on entering first, strong back legs pushing. He unlatched the gate, they pushed it open enough to slip in, nose to tail, trotted down the path to the shed door. Both wanted to be first again, stood with tails up, furry scimitars, noses touching at the door jamb.Inside, the big poodles led him to the kitchen. They had water bowls there and they stuck their noses into them and drank in a noisy way. Cashin prepared their meal: two slices each from the cannon-barrel dog sausage made by the butcher in Kenmare, three handfuls each of dry dog food. He got the dogs’ attention, took the bowls outside, placed them a metre apart. The dogs came out. He told them to sit. Stomachs full of water, they did so slowly and with disdain, appeared to be arthritic. Given permission to eat, they looked at the food without interest, looked at each other, at him. Why have we been brought here to see this inedible stuff?Cashin went inside. In his hip pocket, the mobile rang.‘Yes.’‘Joe?’ Kendall Rogers, from the station. ‘Had a call from a lady,’ she said. ‘Near Beckett. A Mrs Haig. She reckons there’s someone in her shed.’‘Doing what?’‘Well, nothing. Her dog’s barking. I’ll sort it out.’Cashin felt his stubble. ‘What’s the address?’ ‘I’m going.’‘No point. Not far out of my way. Address?’ He went to the kitchen table and wrote on the pad: date, time, incident, address. ‘Tell her fifteen-twenty. Give her my number if anything happens before I get there.’The dogs liked his urgency, rushed around, made for the vehicle when he left the building. On the way, they stood on station, noses out the back windows. Cashin parked a hundred metres down the lane from the farmhouse gate. A head came around the hedge as he approached.‘Cop?’ she said. She had dirty grey hair around a face cut from a hard wood with a blunt tool.Cashin nodded.‘The uniform and that?’‘Plainclothes,’ he said. He produced the Victoria Police badge with the emblem that looked like a fox. She took off her smudged glasses to study it.‘Them police dogs?’ she said.He looked back. Two woolly black heads in the same window.‘They work with the police,’ he said. ‘Where’s this person?’‘Come,’ she said. ‘Dog’s inside, mad as a pork chop, the little bugger.’‘Jack Russell,’ said Cashin.‘How’d ya know that?’‘Just a guess.’They went around the house. He felt the fear rising in him like nausea.‘In there,’ she said.The shed was a long way from the house, you had to cross an expanse of overgrown garden, go through an opening in a fence lost beneath rampant potato-creeper. They walked to the gate. Beyond was knee-high grass, pieces of rusted metal sticking out.‘What’s inside?’ Cashin said, looking at a rusted shed of corrugated iron a few metres from the road, a door half open. He felt sweat around his collarbones. He wished he’d let Kendall do this.Mrs Haig touched her chin, black spikes like a worn-down hair brush. ‘Stuff,’ she said. ‘Junk. The old truck. Haven’t bin in there for years. Don’t go in there.’‘Let the dog out,’ he said. Her head jerked, alarmed. ‘Bastard might hurt im,’ she said.‘No,’ he said. ‘What’s the dog’s name?’‘Monty, call them all Monty, after Lord Monty of Alamein. Too young, you wouldn’t know.’‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘Let Monty out.’‘And them police dogs? What bloody use are they?’‘Kept for life-and-death matters,’ Cashin said, controlling his voice. ‘I’ll be at the door, then you let Lord Monty out.’His mouth was dry, his scalp itched, these things would not have happened before Rai Sarris. He crossed the grassland, went to the left of the door. You learned early to keep your distance from potentially dangerous people and that included not going into dark sheds to meet them. Mrs Haig was at the potato-creeper hedge. He gave her the thumbs up, his heart thumping.The small dog came bounding through the grass, all tight muscles and yap, went for the shed, braked, stuck its head in the door and snarled, small body rigid with excitement.Cashin thumped on the corrugated iron wall with his left hand. ‘Police,’ he said loudly, glad to be doing something. ‘Get out of there. Now!’Not a long wait.The dog backed off, shrieking, hysterical, mostly airborne.A man appeared in the doorway, hesitated, came out carrying a canvas swag. He ignored the dog. ‘On my way,’ he said. ‘Just had a sleep.’ He was in his fifties perhaps, short grey hair, big shoulders, a day’s beard.From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“Peter Temple’s moody prose is far too satisfying. A reclusive Australian businessman has been brutally attacked in the coastal wilds beyond Melbourne’s exurbia, and the last thing you want is to see the mystery cleared up, the heroes and villains neatly sorted out….brilliant…”—The Globe and Mail“The Broken Shore by Peter Temple is a great discovery. . . . I was fully taken by this book.” —Michael Connelly“It’s hard to know where to start praising this book. Plot, style, setting and characters are all startlingly good. . . . The Broken Shore is one of those watershed books that makes you rethink your ideas about reading.” —Sydney Morning Herald“It is a towering achievement that brings alive a ferocious landscape and a motley assortment of clashing characters. The sense of place is stifling in its intensity, and seldom has a waltz of the damned proven so hypnotic. Indispensable.” —The Guardian (UK)“A sad, desolate novel . . . a stone classic. Hard as nails and horrible, but read page one and I challenge you not to finish it.” —Independent on Sunday (UK)“The Broken Shore by Peter Temple is a great discovery...I was fully taken by this book.” —Michael Connelly“Peter Temple is Australia’s leading crimewriter, and The Broken Shore makes it clear why. The writing islean and muscular, but like the best mystery fiction is not afraid to tackle important issues. One of the world’sfinest crime writers.” —The TimesFrom the Hardcover edition.