cover image Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil

Melina Marchetta. Mulholland, $26 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-34929-1

At the start of YA author Marchetta’s stunning adult debut, Bashir “Bish” Ortley, a cop on suspension from London’s Metropolitan Police, travels to Calais, France, to see his teenage daughter after the bombing of her tour bus. Also among the survivors is 17-year-old Violette LeBrac Zidane, whose mother and grandfather allegedly conspired to blow up a British supermarket 13 years earlier. The authorities suspect the bomb on the bus was meant for Violette, but the public believes that she planted it. Either way, the Brits want Violette in their custody and out of France, so they task Bish with bringing her in. Violette runs, forcing Bish to work with the girl’s family in order to find her. 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. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary. (Oct.)