Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Broken Shore” as Want to Read:
The Broken Shore
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Broken Shore (Broken Shore #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  3,442 Ratings  ·  489 Reviews
Joe Cashin was different once. He moved easily then; 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.
345 pages
Published 2005 by The Text Publishing Company
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Broken Shore, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Tauseef Hassan Just finished it. An engaging read. So Australian, I felt like I was reading a foreign language.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nancy Oakes
When I finished this novel I realized two things: first, that I'd just read something outstanding and second, that (as it says on the dustjacket blurb), Peter Temple is a "master writer." This has to be one of the best and most beautifully-written crime fiction novels I've ever read, and I can't wait to get back to his next novel, Truth, which I've only just started and am already loving.

Joe Cashin is a homicide detective who's recuperating from physical and emotional trauma in the small town of
Jun 06, 2009 Cam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good crime thriller, and this is better than your average good. I know I have a connection & I know, I know many of the locations mentioned in the book & that his lead character Joe Cashin - in 'The Broken Shore' has two huge black poodles & every morning Mon - Fri they scare the absolute crap out of my Son & I on our morning walk to school (they have built in stealth (the neighbour & I have discussed) & never hit you at the same point of the fence line). So yes ...more
Kristian Olesen
Feb 16, 2013 Kristian Olesen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Challenge: review "The Broken Shore" without mentioning how "Australian" it is.

There are a lot of reviews on this site expressing frustration with The Broken Shore for its dialectical idiosyncrasies. I won't take this opportunity to express my frustration at the way in which shit rolls downhill, obliging Australian readers to maintain a familiarity with British and American dialects, but rendering Australian dialects "unreadable" to our northern cousins. I won't mention that gripe at all.

What I
A BROKEN SHORE (Police Procedural-Australia-Cont) – Poor
Temple, Peter – Standalone
Quercus, 2006- UK Hardcover
*** Detective Joe Cashin is recovering from his injuries at his hometown in South Eastern Australia. He is there to run a one-man police station and is rebuilding the wreck of a home begun by his grandfather. A brutal attack on a local man is quickly blamed on a three young men from the Aboriginal community. When the plan to arrest and question one of the young men goes deathly wrong, Ca
Wow. A very fine book indeed. With a nice tight prose style, this mystery transcends the genre with the quality of its writing, well drawn characters, and nuanced exploration of racial issues. Main character and homicide cop Joe Cashin returns to his economically depressed home town in Southern Australia to recuperate from a car accident that resulted in a dead partner, an escaped suspect, and chronic crippling back pain for Joe. A wealthy man is murdered in his home, and Joe is forced out of hi ...more
Mary Drake
This is a very dark book and I initially struggled both because of some of the confronting racist language and because some of the issues cut very close to the bone. It's both an excellent crime novel and a beautifully written literary piece but can happily be read as either.

Joe Cashin is a police officer who goes home to police in small town coastal Victoria. He's recovering physically and psychologically from a stake or gone wrong during his time with Homicide in Melbourne. Of course he now h
I wish I had picked this book up earlier. For no other reason than that it completely and utterly immersed you into the setting of the book. I could imagine Joe Cashin's property perfectly. The lining of gums and scrub along the creek. The coast along the Great Ocean Road, some of the wildest and most beautiful I have ever seen. The invoking of the crazy autumn weather that can be calm and sunny one day, and then gale force winds and horizontal rain the next. Sometimes within the same day. For t ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
"The Broken Shore" takes place in and around the small town of Port Monro, on Australia's southern coast. It's a threadbare place, populated by fulltime residents resentfully serving the wealthy, who come for the beach during the warm months, but leave as the Antarctic winds signal the arrival of winter.

Joe Cashin is the senior policeman in Port Monro, ostensibly on indeterminate loan from the largest nearby city, Cromarty, minding the shop while recovering from the psychological and physical e
Nov 28, 2007 Bree rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, this book was just plain bad...I had to stop. I tried, I really, really tried. The sentences were cut off half the time and I had a really hard time comprehending anything in it...I got about 100 pages in and the plot was moving along too slowly, so combined together, I gave up on the whole thing. I have NEVER, ever done that before.

But, people really talk like that? A lot of what I read were just broken sentences, without proper grammar. I found it very distracting.
Aug 03, 2011 Trevor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2012 Carolyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I don't know how I have been unaware of Peter Temple until now. This is one of the most engaging works of modern Australian fiction of any genre that I have read for a long time.
Basically, it is a detective story, where a homicide detective, Cashin, who is on sick leave in his home town, becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of a prominent local citizen. He has doubts about the guilt of the first "who dunnits" - three boys from the local Aboriginal community - and sets out to uncov
I am stymied about what I want to say about this book. I only gave it three stars, and maybe it should be four, but when I compare it to my other four star books, I can't make myself bump it up.

I liked the story a lot. I liked the characters, most of them, but some of them were just shells. Body but no substance. I can't tell if this is because there were/are going to be more books and I am going to get to know more about them later, or they were just there for the moment and I need to not let
Aug 21, 2012 Annette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Peter Temple is South African born but Australian claimed, and for good reason. His crime fiction is gritty and real. His treatment of crime, policing and socio / racial issues in the Victorian coastal countryside rang so true I decided then and there Temple must be the best author ever. Add in his writing style and I am enamoured.

I am not a fan of literary prose – any style of writing that gets in the way of following the story doesn’t rock my boat. Temple’s prose is so in tune with the main ch
Nov 28, 2013 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime, detective
I love a book with short chapters and lots of dialogue so Peter Temple has definitely done us both a favour with ‘The Broken Shore’. His protagonist Cashin, a Melbourne homicide detective, is living and working in a rural town that still holds firm to a racial divide and clings tightly to a ‘cops and robbers’ mentality. After the death of a long-standing social figure, the town is thrown into a chaotic and bloody aftermath with convalescing Cashin seemingly at the helm.

There are plenty of twis
Feb 02, 2010 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I pick up the occasional murder mystery for light reading but The Broken Shore provides a lot more. Yeah, this Aussie detective novel has some of the usual conventions: a physically and emotionally scarred cop, questions about the obviously guilty and innocent, a craphole for a setting. What is different and impressive is that little happens in the way of excitement for the first 2/3 of the book and yet I was still very intrigued by Joe Cashin and his community. After the murder in the initial p ...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Jun 22, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery friends
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Cam
This book was recommended to me by one of my GR friends (thanks Cam) and it was well worth it. It is the story of an Australian police man who has been re-assigned to what is supposed to be a sleepy backwater where he grew up so that he can recuperate from injuries. Instead, he becomes involved in a murder in the area. The novel has what all good cop mysteries have, interesting characters, plot twists, a little romance, political undertones, and a great story line. AND if you are like me (not Au ...more
Blaine DeSantis
3.5* for this book. After listening to Nancy Pearl rave about this book on her podcast I decided to give this book a try. There is no doubt that Peter Temple is a good writer, but this book was hard for me to follow with few people having full names, action jumping all over the place and a plot that for some reason was very easy for me to figure out. While this is a very good book I cannot for the life of me figure out why Pearl slobbers over this. It was a slog for the first third of the book a ...more
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: January 26th 2013
Rating 3,5qqq

(view spoiler)
I had to read this book for university, otherwise I would have been very willing to take up the Independent reviewer's dare to read page one and not finish it. There were several issues I had with this book.

The most annoying was the writing style, the voice. I'm not talking about the actual dialogue here, this is about all the other bits of writing. Which were terribly fragmented, incomplete sentences all over the place. I know this is a stylistic choice, but it just didn't work for me. I kept w
Jennifer (JC-S)
May 27, 2014 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Cashin walked around the hill, into the wind from the sea.’

Joe Cashin is a wounded homicide detective. While he recovers from injuries incurred during a botched stake-out in Melbourne, he’s been sent run the small police station in his home town of Port Monro on the Victorian coast. It all seems a far cry from Melbourne: a typical day in Port Munro might include a neighbourhood dispute over a tree, a vandalised park bench and a woman with a black eye who wants her husband warned.

But the tempo q
Shonna Froebel
Nov 19, 2012 Shonna Froebel rated it really liked it
A little history of my copy of this novel: I picked up this book in a bookstore along the Great Ocean Road when I was in Australia in 2006. On my flight home, my luggage was delayed and soaked, and the book I bought was damaged. I got the airline to reimburse me for the replacement, which I ordered from Dymocks in Australia (along with another book not available in Canada at the time), but then never read it until now, nearly six years later.
Joe Cashin has had bad experiences in his Melbourne po
Pamela Hartshorne
Jan 13, 2013 Pamela Hartshorne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a little time to get into this book, but once I did - about a third of the way through - I found it really absorbing. Temple has a laconic style of writing and he's fond of using a comma instead of a full stop - a particular bugbear of mine, so it took me some time to get used to it. It's an effective way to reflect Cashin's thoughts, though ("He crawled into a wall, stood up, went left, groping, knocked over something, a table, an object hit the floor, smashed.") and I ended up admir ...more
Nov 30, 2010 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. the second I have read by Peter Temple.

Very evocative of Victoria and the seedy side of Australia that never makes Neighbours, Home and Away et al.

Cashin, the flawed hero, is suffering from an injury and has been invalided out to a country town to run a 2 man police station there. It's his home town where he grew up. A big city homicide cop in a small town, trying to find his way back to his life after a near death experience.

This book is more about Cashin, because
Bookmarks Magazine

Peter Temple, the author of eight previous mystery novels and a five-time winner of the Ned Kelly Award, Australia's most prestigious prize for crime fiction, is a literary sensation in the Southern Hemisphere. The Broken Shore lives up to expectations with its vivid characters, meticulously plotted story lines, nimble prose, and striking sense of place. Often compared to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, Joe Cashin

Feb 07, 2008 Beverley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The 'blurb' on the cover indicated that once started it would be hard to put this book down. It was probably because the story didn't start until about page 200 that I found putting it down easy but actually finishing it was hard.
It was fine, but all the raving about it I did expect more.
Going back to my high school years, I remember loving an Aussie cop show called Blue Heelers. This drama series is set in a small town where everybody knows everybody. This is the setting this book reminds me of, a small town where you’d know everybody and certain wheels of ‘politics’ which kept the town running ‘peacefully’. The story is being told, however, from the perspective of Detective Joe Cashin, a city detective seconded to this little town, where he grew up, to ‘recover’.

I found it a l
Dec 11, 2009 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads, tops
PROTAGONIST: Detec. Joe Cashin
SETTING: Port Monro, Australia
RATING: 4.75

Detective Joe Cashin is unlike any homicide detective you've ever met before. Originally a big-city cop in Melbourne, he is now settled into a quiet coastal area in southern Australia, recovering from a vicious attack that has harmed him physically and preyed on him mentally. He is a good example of the loner Australian, living on the fringes - both literally and figuratively.

Cashin is now heading the small local
Feb 27, 2012 Karen rated it it was amazing
Joe Cashin is a Detective Sergeant from the Major Crime Squad who has been transferred to the small country station in his childhood home town, while he recovers from physical and emotional injuries sustained in an investigation. He lives, with his two poodles, in the only remaining section of the house his grandfather built and then partially destroyed (because he wanted to), and there's something of that streak of building and destroying in his entire family to this day.

When a wealthy, elderly
Paula Weston
May 13, 2011 Paula Weston rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary, crime
I've never really considered myself a great fan of the crime genre. And maybe I'm still not. But I'm definitely a fan of Australian crime writer Peter Temple.

Temple has been writing tightly-crafted crime novels since 1995, stunning critics, winning fans, and bagging four Ned Kelly Awards (more than any other writer) and a Vogel Award, among others.

I discovered him recently when I read his latest release, The Broken Shore (another recommendation from the ABC's First Tuesday Book Club), which coul
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Bereft
  • Stiff (Murray Whelan, #1)
  • Snapshot (Inspector Challis, #3)
  • Carpentaria
  • It's Raining in Mango
  • Fortunes of Richard Mahony
  • My Brother Jack
  • St Kilda Blues (Charlie Berlin, #3)
  • Moonlight Downs (Emily Tempest, #1)
  • The Life
  • The Harp in the South
  • Grand Days
  • Beams Falling
  • The Bone is Pointed (Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte, #6)
  • The Holiday Murders
  • That Deadman Dance
  • Power Without Glory
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Peter Temple is an Australian crime fiction writer.

Formerly a journalist and journalism lecturer, Temple turned to fiction writing in the 1990s. His Jack Irish novels (Bad Debts, Black Tide, Dead Point, and White Dog) are set in Melbourne, Australia, and feature an unusual
More about Peter Temple...

Other Books in the Series

Broken Shore (2 books)
  • Truth

Share This Book