- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: Collins Crime (18 September 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007102925
- ISBN-13: 978-0007102921
- Boxed-product Weight: 408 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Unholy Dying Hardcover – 18 Sep 2000
Customers who bought this item also bought
‘He plots a mystery as well as any writer alive’
‘Barnard never disappoints. The psychological suspense is chilling’
‘Robert Barnard retails this finely suspenseful tale, incorporating the Hitchockian awkwardness of disposing of a body, with spellbinding step-by-step matter-of-factness’
From the Back Cover
Cosmo Horrocks was over the moon. This was the juiciest story he'd had in years. In his job as an investigative journalist he spent his working days grubbing through the garbage bins of other people's lives. ( undeterred by the fact that his own wouldn't bear too much investigation), but this one seemed to have everything: religion – the man was a Catholic priest; sex – he was accused of impropriety with a teenage unmarried mother; money – he was thought to have channelled parish funds in her direction. All the story lacked was mystery; but when it acquired that too, Cosmo soon found himself out of his depth.
The parish of St. Catherine's in Shipley is torn apart by the scandal, and by the secretive processes of its investigation. The men, cynically, assume Father Pardoe is guilty, while the women mount a campaign to have his side of the story heard. The investigation, which becomes a police one, reveals dysfunctional families, shady goings – on in high places, and the brittle shell that respectability hides itself behind. When the truth is finally learned about Pardoe's supposed sins, and about the murder which they have brought in their wake, both parish and town have the wraps whipped away form their apparently happy and respectable existence.
No customer reviews
|5 star (0%)|
|4 star (0%)|
|3 star (0%)|
|2 star (0%)|
|1 star (0%)|
Review this product
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Cosmo heads to the small town to confront the various players such as Julie, Father Pardoe, Julie's estrange parents and brother, and other parishioners. After exposing the priest and the teen, an unknown assailant kills the odious Cosmo. Police Inspector Mike Oddie and Sergeant Charlie Peace begin to investigate the homicide. The only problem is anyone who ever met the disgusting man including his family, his staff on the newspaper, and the impacted people in Shipley have motives to wanting Cosmo dead.
UNHOLY DYING is a great police procedural that shows why Robert Barnard is one of the top mystery writers around. His latest work is fabulous because the quaint cast makes the entertaining police investigation so much more fun to follow. The tabloid journalism that attacks Father Pardoe based on rumor and no substance augments a great plot in which everyone except the police are suspects, but the real killer is in plain sight yet impossible to identify.
Some of the more memorable characters in "Unholy Dying" are the beleaguered and persecuted Fr. Pardoe, the primly observant Miss Preece-Dembleby, the malevolent Doris Crabtree, and the frighteningly dysfunctional Norris family. My only quibble with the novel is that some of these characters are so finely drawn that I regretted not learning more about them after they made their all-too-brief appearances.
The book has two scenes that are Barnard at his absolute best. The first is the interview between Superintendent Mike Oddie and the Bishop of Leeds. This passage is must reading for anyone who has ever suffered from the arrogance of power and longs to see what happens when it's deflated and derailed. The other scene is the climax of the novel. Although I could see where the investigation of Horrocks' murder was leading, Barnard's terrifying and shocking conclusion caught me unprepared and left me riveted.