Thriller down under
I haven’t really read a lot of mysteries set in Australia, except for the Phryne Fisher mysteries by Kerry Greenwood, but The Broken Shore by Peter Temple makes me want to read more about the land down under.
The main character, Joe Cashin, a broken cop recuperating from a near fatal attack in Melbourne, has been temporarily assigned to his hometown of Port Munro on the south coast of Australia. Although trying to live a quiet life with his 2 dogs, it seems that big city crime has followed Joe to his hometown. When Charles Bourgoyne, a wealthy old man, has been attacked, left for dead, and eventually dies, Cashin is assigned the case. Local racial tensions increase when the local area police, who have poor relations with the Aboriginal community to begin with, place suspicion on three Aboriginal lads. Community relations are not improved when two are killed in a screwed-up stakeout and the other drowns. As far as the police are concerned the case is closed, but Joe doesn’t agree. He decides to continue investigating on his own, delving into his own past (he has Aboriginal cousins), and the past of his home town. This search takes him deep into a world of sexual abuse and child pornography with a shocking conclusion.
This is a multilayered thriller, having all the ingredients of a great crime novel: a flawed main character, murder, race, class, politics, police corruption, strained family relations, humor, and a sense of place. (And there's a glossary in the back that helps with the Australian lingo!)