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The Bad Samaritan

We use this information to create a better experience for all users. Please review the types of cookies we use below. These cookies allow you to explore OverDrive services and use our core features. Without these cookies, we can't provide services to you. These cookies allow us to monitor OverDrive's performance and reliability. Murder would not seem the most likely outcome when Rosemary Sheffield, wife of the vicar of St.

Saviour's, experiences a loss of faith on a walk in the park one bright Sunday morning. Barnard's peculiarly sardonic universe, where innocence and guilt frequently prove to be mirror images. Rosemary's loss of faith comes suddenly, joyfully, as the lifting of a burden. And with it, she acquires a refreshing -- though, for a clergyman's wife, somewhat inconvenient -- candor about herself and the members of her husband's congregation. View 1 comment.

Feb 18, robyn rated it it was ok Shelves: mystery. I immediately added him to the list of authors I always troll for in used book stores the book was Death of an Old Goat. They've all fallen rather flat since.

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There's nothing actually wrong with it, except that I didn't care much for any of the characters. They were tiresomely good people, in the main, or just tiresome.

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There was a lot of inter-character drama set in a churchy community; a lot of really engrossing drama can be made out of a very little thing, so long as it isn't little to the protagonist Jane Austen, you minx , but I daresay the characters have to have some interior life for that to work. You have to feel more than a mild interest in them. I'm just feeling disappointed because I'd like to read another Old Goat sometime. May 21, Reggie Billingsworth rated it really liked it. The Bad Samaritan by the late lamented Robert Barnard reveals the real truth behind the society of an English Anglican Church parish while spinning an intriguing tale which turns into a very deft back-twist ending.

The Bad Samaritan by Robert Barnard

Although the title is listed as one of the Charlie Peace series, Barnard has a winner in Rosemary the initial protagonist and in one way, it's a pity he didn't use her again in later works. Today's reader, so used to continuing series character development would have enjoyed the ride The Bad Samaritan by the late lamented Robert Barnard reveals the real truth behind the society of an English Anglican Church parish while spinning an intriguing tale which turns into a very deft back-twist ending. Today's reader, so used to continuing series character development would have enjoyed the ride immensely I suspect.

However, Rosemary's point of view allows a refreshing glimpse into small group associations and the games people always play. She suffers few gladly as she views with an engaging clarity the universal congregational characters, unencumbered by the usual expectations of vicar's-wife diplomacy. Her spontaneous loss of faith wonderously described in the earliest pages allows many impressively sharp assessments: the fortuitously named Florrie Harridance is the congregation's harridan indeed, "with her whiskery face, her voracious expression, and her enormous bosom stretching out before her like some kind of personal continental shelf.

Talk about setting boundaries for your visiting adult children!

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The vernacular "You GO girl! As others have acknowledged, Barnard's satire almost overtakes the mystery angles of his stories but one cannot be annoyed by this drift as one snorts with laughter throughout the colour commentary. In this case the murder plot and sadly still timely and appropriate of human trafficking is neatly knitted into a satisfactory finale that will surprise.

My continued adventures through Barnard's backlist of well written and neatly plotted titles promises to keep me entertained for some time to come. Nov 10, Ginny rated it liked it. The first half of the book is about Rosemary Sheffield, the vicar's wife, and her sudden loss of faith. She decides to spend a few days away in Scarborough. There she meets Stanko, a waiter, who is actually an illegal immigrant from Bosnia. He shows her pics of his wife and daughter and she sympathizes with him. Returning home, she goes about dealing with various busybodies from the church that are responding to her loss of faith.

Then one night Stanko shows up at their door begging for help. He The first half of the book is about Rosemary Sheffield, the vicar's wife, and her sudden loss of faith. He is running from police because of his alien status. They help him find a job in a pizza place, with a place to live above it. The story comes to a climax the night of the church party. A man is found dead in the nearby park. The second half of the book brings Charlie Peace in to investigate. No one really liked the dead man. And he had some shady business dealings.

The twist comes at the end with a confession. Charlie realizes its real intent is to protect a loved one, the murderer. Robert Barnard always keeps my attention from the first page. In this story the first half of the book is about Rosemary, a vicar's wife who has lost her faith. This small change in her life send ripples through her husband's congregation that leads to a revelation of how unchristian most church goers can be. As the saying goes "just because you sit in a garage it doesn't make you a car. More than Robert Barnard always keeps my attention from the first page.


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More than halfway through the book there is a murder of one of the church goers who uses religion as a cloak of respectability to improve business connections. A man of little faith he was accepted on these surface behaviors while there was definitely a dark side to him. Charlie Peace and Mike Oldie see though much of the facades the suspects hide behind and the murderers is a bit of a surprise.

Jul 17, Joy rated it really liked it. I really liked this tale of an English church affected by a bad seed. The pastor's wife loses her faith, but she isn't the bad seed. It might be any of these: 1 She befriends an illegal alien. I thoroughly enjoyed Barnard's cozily cynical description of the church "community". Rosemary and her hu I really liked this tale of an English church affected by a bad seed. Rosemary and her husband are delightful company, and again so is Charlie Peace. Jul 12, Jeff rated it liked it Shelves: mystery.

Robert Barnard writes solid, entertaining mysteries.


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Someone is murdered and an intrepid police office must find out who did the killing. There is nothing ground breaking here, but it is still worthwhile nonetheless. Jun 05, Ed rated it liked it. Latest though not by publication date of about 20 Barnard mysteries I have read. Vicars wife, walking in the park one day, suddenly realizes that she has lost her faith and becomes an atheist. Story centers on the ironic and interesting problems that this creates, and on the death of a typically repulsive Barnardian villain.

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A good read, to coin a phrase!