Author(s): William Brodrick
'To keep quiet about something so important ...well, it's almost a lie, wouldn't you say?' When Father Anselm meets Kate Seymour in the cemetery at Larkwood, he is dismayed to hear her allegation. Herbert Moore had been one of the founding fathers of the Priory, revered by all who met him, a man who'd shaped Anselm's own vocation. The idea that someone could look on his grave and speak of a lie is inconceivable. But Anselm soon learns that Herbert did indeed have secrets in his past that he kept hidden all his life. In 1917, during the terrible slaughter of the Passchendaele campaign, a soldier faced a court martial for desertion. Herbert, charged with a responsibility that would change the course of his life, sat upon the panel that judged him. In coming to understand the court martial, Anselm discovers its true significance: a secret victory that transformed the young Captain Moore and shone a light upon the horror of war.
Winner of CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction 2009.
'Impressive ... Brodrick captures brilliantly the sickening nature of the soldiers' task in having to execute one of their own ... He uses this emotive material to its full potential, spinning out an interior drama that is every bit as gripping as the events themselves ... Brodrick tells his story skilfully, pacing it well, building up the tension and revealing just enough to keep the pages turning ... There are some brilliantly evocative and poignant descriptions of the trenches ... He has succeeded in telling a passionately human story about a most inhuman moment in history' Irish Times 'Sensitively wrought ... Brodrick's exploratory novels are refreshing and restorative, his style is thoughtful and precise; his integrity powerful. You feel better for having read them. Maybe you are' Spectator 'The horrors of Passchendaele in 1917 run through this exquisite novel. Just how much can a man take before he must simply walk away? And what kind of strength enables one man to lay down his life for another?' Matthew Lewin, Guardian 'Brodrick writes very well about inner movements of tension and realisation. This is an ambitious book in the way that it balances these profound questions with an intricate and pacy plot, and in its scope, tracing lives spanning nearly a century' Scotsman 'A powerful addition to the ranks of memorable World War One fiction' Metro 'Brodrick is undoubtedly a fine storyteller ... [Father Anselm] is a compelling protagonist' Matt Thorne, Sunday Telegraph
Bill Brodrick was a Franciscan friar before leaving the order to become a practising barrister.