Day of Absolution: A Novel
A Scribner Crime Novel
Internationally acclaimed crime writer John Gardner returns with a magnificent new cutting-edge thriller in the grand espionage tradition for which he is famous.
Charlie Gauntlet, a retired lawyer who was "something dodgy for the Foreign Office," is recently married to the much younger Rebecca "Bex" Olesker, a Detective Sergeant in the London Metropolitan Police's Anti-Terrorist Branch. Charlie has more or less come to terms with Bex's demanding and dangerous job, though it's hard for him to stay home when his young wife is on the front lines. Especially when she's facing Alchemist.
Who is Alchemist? Nobody seems to know, except that he's an unidentified hired assassin who strikes high-profile targets and demands a big payoff. If you have enough money and want somebody killed -- even a head of state -- he's your man. As Alchemist is described to Charlie, he's a "wizard soldier" who "walks on water, goes invisible, turns himself inside out like a reversible coat." He has had police all over the globe hopping around for the last decade and a half. Now, Bex may be the one to find him, but will she survive the encounter?
While Bex goes to Ireland, tracking a young woman lawyer who may lead her to Alchemist, Charlie takes a strange and perhaps perilous journey of his own. His unlikely guide is Britain's most infamous traitor, Kit Palfrey, who turns up on Charlie's doorstep with an intriguing tale of five ancient scrolls found in the bowels of Moscow's Lubianka prison. Are the scrolls authentic? If so, they could provide a new explanation for the Christian faith.
As Bex and her team converge to stop the assassination of a head of state in London, Charlie probes the mysteries of a remote monastery off the west coast of Scotland, where the sacred offices are not the only order of the day.
With style, wit, and page-turning tension, John Gardner's Day of Absolution builds to an electrifying conclusion as it examines some of life's most eternal questions.