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An Excellent Mystery
on October 14, 2012
This is as good of a mystery as I've read. As a distraction from writing his memoirs, Peter Proctor begins an investigation into the decades-old murder of a young friend. The friend is a minor player in the Foreign Office from the 1950s, but his death has a lasting impact on Peter and many others. As he recollects and then investigates, he recalls pivotal moments in British history such as the Suez crisis and the tumultuous years of the Edward Heath government. He meets people with memories of the friend and it leads him to a startling conclusion. In addition, he relays a startling conclusion of his own. To reveal more would be a disservice to other readers.
In the fashion of Josephine Tey's "Daughter of Time," this is a work about the discovery of one's past in a broader context. (I was interested to see another reviewer found the similarity with that book, which I also rate as one of my favorites ever). Barnard's book is sure to shock those who encounter it and to stay with one long after the final page.