19 September 2014

A review of Julius Falconer Series: 'The Unexpected Death of Father Wilfred'

Scenic Worcestershire appears to have more than its fair share of evildoers and wicked murderers! In this gripping and extremely baffling case for Police Inspector Stan Wickfield, the author pits him against a highly cunning adversary.
We have stepped back in time to early 1968, to the sudden, violent death of
Fr Wilfred, parish priest of The Sacred Heart Catholic Church. It occurs, just as the church itself is undergoing a disquieting period of change.
A lot of preconceived religious practice is being challenged by a wave of new thinking and the detective uncovers several suspects in his quest for the truth of this sudden death: was it murder or suicide? With Sergeant Spooner assisting him, Stan Wickfield (considered to be the best brains on the force) methodically works his way through the lives and possible motives of each of the suspects: often taking two steps backwards for every step gained and thus giving the reader a glimpse of the workings of the Catholic Church and the unglamorous daily routine of C.I.D. work.
The team do their level best to break the case, yet are always coming up against seemingly solid and impenetrable alibis. As Wickfield states in conversation with his sergeant: So many imponderables, so many suspects-or none at all! What are we to make of it?It is only as he sets himself a time limit to succeed, or resign his post in abject failure, that he stumbles on the truth, inadvertently aided, as always by conversation with his wife Beth.
Creatively written and consistently entertaining, Julius Falconer gives us yet another fascinating, thought provoking and highly addictive read. Wonderful value!
Harry Riley
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