The Discourtesy of Death by William Brodrick
Father Anselm returns in the most provocative novel yet by the CWA Gold Dagger-winning author of the bestsellingThe Sixth Lamentation
Hailed by A. N. Wilson as one of the few crime novels I can think of where the ethical twists are every bit as thrilling as the narrative ones,”The Discourtesy of Death plunges us back into the fascinating and morally complex world of Father Anselm.
An anonymous letter sent to Larkwood’s Prior accuses Peter Henderson, an academic celebrity renowned for daring ideas, of a grotesque murder: the calculated killing of Jenny, his disabled partner, believed by everyone to have died peacefully two years previously from a sudden attack of cancer.
But for this letter there is no evidence, no suspect and no crime. Time has moved on. Lives have been rebuilt. Grief and loss are tempered by a comforting thought: a paralyzed woman, once an acclaimed dancer, had died quickly and painlessly, spared a drawn out illness; a life marked by agonizing misfortune had come to a merciful end.
But now Anselm has been told the truth behind the soothing lie. He must move cautiously to expose the killer and the killing. He must think of young Timothy, Jenny and Peter’s son. A boy who is still learning to live without his mother.
And so Anselm begins his most delicate investigation yet, unaware that Jenny’s adoring father is also thinking of Timothy’s future; that this urbane former army officer is haunted by the memory of torture and shoot-to-kill operations in Northern Ireland; that he remains capable of anything, if he thinks it’s for the best; that he has set out to execute Peter Henderson.
Death, dying and killing, however, were never so complicated.