The Discourtesy of Death : Father Anselm

  • by William Brodrick
  • Narrated by Gordon Griffin
  • Series: Father Anselm
  • 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 paralysed woman, once an acclaimed dancer, had died quickly and painlessly, spared a drawn-out illness; a life marked by agonising 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.

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What the Critics Say

"William Brodrick's crime novels have the great, and unusual merit of being unlike anyone else's, not least because his series hero, Father Anselm, is a Gray's Inn barrister turned Suffolk monk" (Spectator)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Bleak and sad.

Not nearly as good as 1st and 3rd books. Anselm becomes semi-detached from the monastery to look into the possibly unnatural death of a young woman who is disabled. He spends more time listening to jazz than the Divine Office, while her dysfunctional family and friends rehearse their views on "mercy killing" and assisted suicide, plus an ex-Intelligence Corps officer relives his Ulster traumas and morally dodgy service there. (Just to confuse us further.)
It seemed to go on endlessly -perhaps an abridged version might be more satisfying - and finished much like Godot.
No one ever seems to think it might be OK to be disabled, either, just because this woman seems to feel life's not worth living.
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- Mary Carnegie

not as good as the previous books in the series

Any additional comments?

in this book William Broderick has taken the scenario of was she murdered or did she commit suicide and made it complicated.it is excellent writing that held it all together.

in this story father anselm has a companion to help solve this mystery by bouncing ideas of each other of how it could have happened leading to the solving of this conundrum. for me this didn't really work.

this is the fifth book in the series and seems to follow the trend that most series fall into of being disappointing. hopefully he will be back on track with the next.
Gordon griffin did a good job of performing this book.

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- Mrs. K. I. Richards

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK