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Publisher's Summary

A Richard and Judy Book Club Selection.

A man arrives at Larkwood Monastery claiming sanctuary. Edward Schwermann is accused of Nazi war crimes: the chances are he's stained with blood, but politics demand that Larkwood shelter him. And Schwermann has intimated that the Church offered him sanctuary once before, during the war. It is this potentially embarrassing claim which brings Father Anselm onto centre stage. Once a lawyer, Anselm is sanctioned to make discreet enquiries in Rome, but as he edges towards the truth behind Schwermann's crimes, his renewed contact with the outside world threatens to overwhelm his fragile spiritual identity.

For Agnes Embleton, seeing Schwermann's face on the television has brought back a flood of memories: of Paris, of The Round Table, a group of idealistic students who tried to save thousands of Jewish children from deportation, of the Frenchman who betrayed them, and of Schwermann, the German officer who sent the children to their deaths. But what Agnes doesn't know and Anselm discovers is the personal investment Schwermann had in The Round Table, the silent bargains made by its members and the true extent of Schwermann's final treachery.

©2004 William Brodrick (P)2005 Time Warner AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"Brodrick writes well about age and memory, buried pasts, and the consequences of opening them up." ( Guardian)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patricia
  • 26-03-2017

Prepare to be confused

There are so many characters in this story that it's sometimes difficult to remember who's who. The loud piano music between sections is unnecessary (especially if you listen into the small hours and are just dozing off) although I can see why the producer thought it a nice added touch. It isn't.

Nathaniel Parker does a very good job of narrating the complex tale of betrayal, lost love and, ultimately, forgiveness but I think it's one of those books that is better read rather than listened to, even if only to flick back a few pages to check the plot.

Maybe I'll listen to it again in a while and see if it improves on second acquaintance......

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 15-07-2007

Too long

Well Richard and Judy you got it wrong. A good story, but the author weaves such an elaborate web that half way through the point seems lost although it is gathered again at the end. A good idea but loses emphasis and focus. By all means draw a picture of interesting charactors and their lives, the key point being interesting.