This unique murder mystery is both a penetrating analysis of a decaying social class and a deeply moving personal story of two men: Peter Proctor, recently retired as a senior British cabinet minister, and Timothy Wycliffe, a young aristocrat who was bludgeoned to death more than 30 years ago. Once close friends, their relationship had gradually faded; even Wycliffe's shocking murder caused relatively little impact on his friends and the national press, who were distracted that week by more momentous events in the news.
Only now, over three decades later, does Wycliffe's death become Proctor's obsession. At the end of a long and distinguished career, Proctor decides to write his memoirs, and finds his mind overtaken by memories of Timothy Wycliffe. It is only in probing the past and discovering the shocking truth of Wycliffe’s murder that Proctor will find peace.
©1991 Robert Barnard (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I have been a Robert Barnard fan for years, starting with "Death of a Perfect Mother" and "Death of an Old Goat". His books have varied a lot in quality over the years, as high production mystery writers' works tend to do, but all have been enjoyable, classic-type british mysteries, in style somewhere between Christie and Francis. I remember that the first time I read A Scandal in Belgravia I was impressed by its literary quality, but disappointed that it wasn't as much fun as many of his others. However, if you live in the U.S. and don't sign in to Audible, you find quite a few Barnard's listed - but due to some copyright issues, none are available to U.S.-based purchasers - so I got this in hopes that by purchasing it I'd help convince Audible to do whatever they need to do to solve the problem. AND, it turned out that, thanks to an absolutely appropriate reader, it was better than the paperback. I recommend it highly, but hope that his other works will also be available soon.
Highly recommended listen! A kind of minor British author with lots of books. This is the only one recorded so far. Frederick Davidson's upper-class voice is a perfect match. The story is complex and the ending very, very unexpected. Characters elegant, carefully drawn. This book will evoke plenty of sympathy, empathy, and, of course, disgust (at the end) thrown in. Give it a try!
Barnard is a great writer and he delivers a delicious story, a murder by memoir rather than an active investigation. The narrator's upper class tone is perfect, at least for an American listener.
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