Books, Reading, Review
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The Broken Shore

Cover of "The Broken Shore (Thorndike Rev...

I think that one thing I dislike more than anything else in a novel, is copious amounts of swearing. Don’t get me wrong, I get great satisfaction from swearing – but I just don’t like seeing the words in print. Weird, I know. Swearing is a terrible habit, but sometimes swear words are super helpful with emphasizing stuff. Though I am sure that there are plenty of of other words that I could use to the same effect, I can never think of them at the time. Anyway, the reason that I bring this up, is because The Broken Shore by Peter Temple has lots of swearing and it’s the heavy duty stuff too. Having said that though, this is a great book.

I’d not heard of Peter Temple before picking up this book, but he is a really great Australian writer. From the little blurb about him at the start of the book, I have learnt that he largely writes crime novels. To be honest, crime novels aren’t really my thing. I can think of plenty of other genres that I would prefer to read, but this particular book may have changed my opinion – it’s hard to ignore a good mystery.

Joe Cashin has left Melbourne after his last case there turned into a tragic set of events that have left him both physically and mentally scarred. A homicide detective, he now finds himself running the one man police station in his home town. But his return home isn’t as quiet as he anticipated. After a local man is found beaten and almost dead in his home, Cashin gets back on the homicide investigation horse. But not only does he find himself investigating a disturbing case, he also finds himself in a running battle with the locals and even his fellow police officers. The town is rampant with prejudice and racism, the colour of your skin practically confirming your guilt. But as Cashin soon finds out, not everything in this case is as it seems.

While I enjoyed the story itself, I did find it a little bit difficult to follow at times – this was largely due to me not being used to the author’s style of writing, I found myself having to focus more than usual. But I am certainly looking forward to reading some more books by Peter Temple. Overall, a great book. A bit too much swearing for me, but easily overlooked.

RATING – 7 out of 10.

WHO SHOULD READ IT – I’ve not read much else in the way of crime novels, so I couldn’t recommend it as “if you loved such and such book, then you’ll really enjoy this”, but I think that if you enjoy reading crime novels in general, then you would enjoy this.

WHO YOU’LL LOVE – I really loved Cashin’s dogs. I didn’t find myself liking Cashin all that much, not because he’s not a likeable character, but rather because he’s just not my type of character. If I had to choose a human character that I liked, it would probably be Dave Rebb – while completely irrelevant to the story, he a no nonsense type of guy.





  1. I think there’s something about facing swear words in print and having them linger there. Also, swear words are empty words, or filler-words in spoken language. They rarely add actual meaning to a sentence.


    • I completely agree that they add little to the sentence, I just think they are a little unnecessary at times. I feel like the swear words were a little over used in this book.


  2. I know what you mean about swearing in books. I don’t know why I don’t like it when our TV screens are full of swearing – and I like to drop the F bomb now and then. I found the same thing with the book ‘The Slap’. Fantastic book but just full of swearing. Maybe it’s more offensive to see swear words in print? I don’t know. Interesting topic though. Oh, and good review. Peter Temple is an author I’ve never got around to reading.


    • I think it is that the look of the word is more offensive. There’s been plenty of times where I’ll just need to chuck a good expletive into a sentence, but seeing it in print just makes me cringe.
      I guess I just believe that if you are going to go to all this effort to write a great book, you would take a little more time to find words that could fit into the sentences better, rather than having your characters swearing every second word. I also like to think that not all Australians swear as much as portrayed in this book. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never heard anyone I know swear that much, and I know people from all over the place!


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