MIDNIGHT COME by Michael David Anthony


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A third adventure for ex-army officer Richard Harrison, whose present job as overseer of the Delapidations Board of Canterbury Cathedral has proved to be less placid than it sounds (The Becket Factor, 1991, etc.). Now an anonymous letter has been received by Archdeacon Cawthorne accusing his old friend Reverend Maurice Lambkin, a widower living in nearby Wetmarsh Marden, of having an affair (as his wife was dying) with Stella Gittings, a soon-to-be- ordained married woman. Some church property is to be disposed of in Wetmarsh Marden, and Dean Ingrams asks Harrison to join church architect Helen Middlebrook on her planned visit there, perhaps to explore Lambkin’s reaction to the letter. What they find, in a shabby annex to Lambkin’s house, is Maurice’s bullet-riddled body near that of his son Jonathan, in what appears to be murder followed by Jonathan’s suicide. Harrison, though, is unconvinced by the official verdict and begins his own search for the truth—with scant encouragement from his wheelchair-bound wife Winnie. He talks to Jonathan’s girlfriend and learns that Jonathan had been researching a major robbery of 30 years ago. Harrison’s further explorations completely refute the widely held picture of Jonathan as a penniless, irresponsible failure. Meanwhile, provision must be made for Lambkin’s longtime faithful servants George and Mavis Frome, setting the stage of a replay of a crime that brings the truth to the fore. An unconvincing, only sporadically interesting story: the author tries for a leisurely, old-fashioned narrative style but succeeds only in slowing the pace.

Pub Date: Jan. 8th, 1999
ISBN: 0-312-20058-7
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1998


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