The ABC has commissioned Melbourne writer Andrew Knight to adapt another Peter Temple novel, after penning the successful script of Jack Irish telemovie Bad Debts. And Knight says the novel is Temple’s true “masterpiece” – The Broken Shore.
“It’s one of the best bits of writing going round,” Knight says of the 2005 novel which has netted several awards including the Duncan Lawrie Dagger trophy.
Temple, one of Australia's best crime writers who is also based in Victoria, won the Miles Franklin Award for his subsequent book Truth, but Knight says The Broken Shore was more deserving.
The book tells the story of Melbourne homocide detective Joe Cashin, who, after a history of family tragedy, racism and police corruption, investigates the death of a local wealthy man.
Knight, who is currently executive producing both of the Jack Irish telemovies (Bad Debts and Black Tide), has finished writing the first draft of The Broken Shore screenplay and says the aim is to start shooting next year.
“I found that so hard to do because the writing in that is extraordinary,” says Knight, best known for writing SeaChange, Full Frontal and Fast Forward.
He expects the script to be longer than Bad Debts because there’s more to fit in, and says the telemovie could be about 105 minutes. The original idea was to turn the 352-page book into a miniseries.
The Jack Irish telemovies, starring Guy Pearce as the title character, are currently in production in Melbourne.