Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil: reviews

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is a multi-layered book with a big heart that accords every character we encounter – and there are many – a backstory that serves to illustrate just how profoundly people’s lives may be shaped by the forces of history over which they have no control. Marchetta does this seamlessly, while her characters spring to life on the page.

Sue Turnbull, The Sydney Morning Herald

Although they represent a bubbling melting pot of ethnicities, some with underlying political tensions, her young characters all stand out as individuals. Even at their most infuriating they’re always believable, if not as sympathetic as Bish Ortley.

Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

On occasion, even cynical reviewers stay up long past bedtime, nodding and turning pages. Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil deserves to be on the bedside table of every crime fan.  LS 

The Saturday Paper, August 27th, 2016, (Australia)

There’s much complexity and beauty in Melina Marchetta’s resonating Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. While large in scope, exploring timely issues such as terrorism, racism, the plight of immigrants and social media’s lynch-mob mentality, the book also tells the heartrending personal stories of multidimensional and memorable characters. Bish is like a British (and a quarter Egyptian) Harry Bosch, a relentless cop who believes everyone counts or no one does. In Marchetta’s hands, everyone does count.

Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, Shelf Awareness, starred review (US)

Emotionally complex characters complement an intricate plot rife with dizzying twists and devastating reveals. This visceral read manages to capture the emotional aftermath of a mass tragedy while sustaining tension and delivering a scathing indictment of racial profiling, vigilante justice, and the 24-hour news cycle

Publishers Weekly, starred review (US)

Bish’s investigative skills, more brains than brute force, showcase Marchetta’s own talent in writing an electrifying contemporary detective thriller. This is a clear-sighted adult-fiction debut for fans of Robert Galbraith and Marchetta herself, and is likely to be devoured by older YA readers as well.

Bookseller and Publisher, 5 stars, reviewed by Fiona Hardy (Australia)

Along with its wellrounded and likeable characters, this is more than a crime story; it’s jam-packed with family drama and heartbreak. Highly recommended for suspense and mystery fans.

Kirsten Calvery, Library Journal, starred review (US)

This timely thriller is the popular young adult author Marchetta’s adult debut; and while her fans will easily make the transition with her, she should gain some adult readers as well.

Booklist (US)

There’s so much I loved in this book – not least was the way it fits for me, like a puzzle piece within Marchetta’s other stories … there are lines here connecting them all for me, so I can see exactly how writing all those others bought Marchetta to this book, at this point in time

Danielle Binks, Alpha Reader

The vibrant characters leap from the pages as Marchetta builds up the suspense to a superb crescendo.

The Australian Women’s Weekly

In short, I loved TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL. It’s got action, suspense, humour, sadness… a very ‘of the moment’ sensibility in that it tackles very topical issues such as the role of social media in the modern world and the complex way we collectively deal with horrendous crimes such as terrorism, but all of this is done intelligently so that the book won’t feel out of date in a year’s time. Highly recommended.

Bernadette Bean, Fair Dinkum Crime

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil is a powerhouse of tension and emotion where what is not being said is as poignant as what is being said. Melina Marchetta’s genius is her ability to place the reader into a situation that is so readily believable.

Jon and Kate, Pages and Pages

TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL is full of misapprehensions and rushes to judgment, not only about immigrants and Muslims but about strangers of all stripes. The book urges all of us to take a step back and consider — as well as confront — our own inherent biases.

Norah Piehl, bookreporter.com