Midnight Come

Michael David Anthony, Author
Michael David Anthony, Author Minotaur Books $22.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-20058-9
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
Paperback - 318 pages - 978-1-934609-26-2
Hardcover - 496 pages - 978-0-7089-4008-2
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A crudely written letter accuses recently widowed British parson Rev. Maurice Lambkin of driving his wife to the grave by having an affair with his married female assistant. When Canterbury lay church official Richard Harrison is dragged in to investigate the truthfulness of the letter, he stumbles upon the corpses of Lambkin and his 20-something son, Jonathan. Though an inquest rules that the notoriously decadent Jonathan killed his father in a rage before committing suicide, Harrison isn't convinced and, assisted by his wife, probes for the real motive behind the deaths. A complicated exploration of the diocese's administration and its frustrated parishioners ensues. Anthony's detailed, almost baroque descriptions of the damp British countryside purposely evoke images of gothic England, while a local school's production of Marlowe's 16th-century play Dr. Faustus gives the author ample opportunity to draw parallels between contemporary events and that famous drama of the conflict between mortal prestige and eternal salvation. Although Anthony's writing can get bogged down with elaborate allusions, he manages to present an eerie, satisfying mystery, embroidered with much fascinating clerical detail, in this thickly plotted addition to his Church-of-England mystery series (Dark Provenance, etc.). (Jan.)
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