|Plot Summary of Unholy Dying|
Cosmo Horrocks is the most repulsive journalist on earth. His two main ambitions are to make life miserable for everyone around him and to have a big story that makes it to the London tabloids. When he gets wind of the investigation of a local Catholic priest who is being investigated for an improper relationship with a young woman and questionable handling of funds, he thinks he has hit the jackpot. Instead the story lead to murder and the revelation of many secrets in suburbia. Terrific characters and dialogue and a stinging indictment of "media
This synopsis report prepared by Linda Sourpuss
Scribner, Apr 2001, 23.00, 288 pp.
While riding a train, West Yorkshire Chronicle reporter Cosmo Horrocks overhears two people discussing the scandalous behavior of the local Catholic priest. Apparently, Father Christopher Pardoe had an affair with nineteen-year old single mother Julie Norris, a parishioner, leaving her pregnant. Also Somebody stole parish money with the Father being the most likely thief. Cosmo, a nasty gossip-mongering “journalist” who would distort any lie to spice up a report, sees a great story in Shipley, England.
Cosmo heads to the small town to confront the various players such as Julie, Father Pardoe, Julie's estranged parents and brother, and other parishioners. After exposing the priest and the teen, an unknown assailant kills the odious Cosmo. Police Inspector Mike Oddie and Sergeant Charlie Peace begin to investigate the homicide. The only problem is anyone who ever met the disgusting man including his family, his staff on the newspaper, and the impacted people in Shipley have motives to wanting Cosmo dead.
UNHOLY DYING is a great police procedural that shows why Robert Barnard is one of the top mystery writers around. His latest work is fabulous because the quaint cast makes the entertaining police investigation so much more fun to follow. The tabloid journalism that attacks Father Pardoe based on rumor and no substance augments a great plot in which everyone except the police are suspects, but the real killer is in plain sight yet impossible to identify.
This synopsis report prepared by Harriet Klausner
|Chapter Analysis of Unholy Dying|
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
How difficult to spot villain?
- Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues
Time/era of story:
What % of story relates directly
to the mystery, not the subplot?
Kind of investigator
- police procedural, American
- british mystery (I say!)
Kid or adult book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Murder Mystery (killer unknown)
Accounts of torture and death?
- no torture/death
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Explicit sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
Unusual forms of death
- blunt clubbing (like seals)
Unusual form of death?
Amount of dialog
- significantly more dialog than descript
- significantly more descript than dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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