Everyone agrees that Bob Dexter, the prominent Evangelical clergyman, has a great deal of personal charisma. Those who know him realise that he also has an unshakable faith in his own righteousness, and a real talent for rubbing people up the wrong way. It is no surprise, therefore, that someone should want to kill him. In fact, when the Reverend Dexter moves to a small Norfolk parish, traditionally Anglo-Catholic, and begins remoulding it in his own image, it seems only a matter of time. The real question becomes: who will get to him first?
His distraught parishioners are not the only ones with good reason to want to remove him - permanently. Dexter has also fallen afoul of a group of ardent animal rights activists, and his heavy-handed efforts to take over the leadership of an Evangelical protest movement have made him very unpopular with its founder. And there are undercurrents in his seemingly tranquil home life: both his downtrodden wife Elayne and his adored daughter Becca have secrets that Dexter does not even begin to suspect - until the fateful and eventful day of his death. Solicitor David Middleton-Brown and his artist-friend Lucy Kingsley step in to investigate. Their search for the truth culminates at the annual National Pilgrimage to Walsingham, where Anglo-Catholic pomp clashes with heated Evangelical protest, and feelings run perilously high. Too late, perhaps, David realises the danger: will he be in time to prevent a second murder?
"The writing is elegant... to match the apparently normal little English town beneath which lurks the kind of emotion that stirred murder throughout the works of Agatha Christie." (Sunday Telegraph)
"There is real tenderness... in her detailed portraits of the faithful, from the sensitive student of church architecture who functions as sleuth to the dear old church biddies who arrange the flowers and spread the gossip with as much relish as the witches in Macbeth."
(The Sunday New York Times Book Review)
"Charles deftly mixes religious rites and politics with her own insight into human behavior. Discerning mystery readers pray for good books like this one."