A Perfectly Good Man
The new novel from Patrick Gale, author of Richard & Judy-bestseller Notes from an Exhibition, returning readers to his beloved Cornish coastline.
"Do you need me to pray for you now for a specific reason?" "I'm going to die." "We're all going to die. Does dying frighten you?" "I mean I'm going to kill myself."
When 20-year-old Lenny Barnes, paralysed in a rugby accident, commits suicide in the presence of Barnaby Johnson, the much-loved priest of a West Cornwall parish, the tragedy's reverberations open up the fault-lines between Barnaby and his nearest and dearest. The personal stories of his wife, children and lover illuminate Barnaby's ostensibly happy life, and the gulfs of unspoken sadness that separate them all. Across this web of relations scuttles Barnaby's repellent nemesis - a man as wicked as his prey is virtuous. Returning us to the rugged Cornish landscape of Notes from an Exhibition, Patrick Gale lays bare the lives and the thoughts of a whole community and asks us: What does it mean to be good?