The Bad Samaritan: A Novel of Suspense, Featuring Charlie Peace
, 1996 - Fiction
- 315 pages
It's bound to be a problem when a vicar's wife loses her faith. In a Robert Barnard novel it can be a source of amusement, dismay, contemplation, and even murder. The hideous neo-Gothic parish church of St. Saviour's may or may not be typical of the Church of England, but clergy wife Rosemary Sheffield definitely does not fit the usual mold. While walking in the park one day, she loses her faith. It just lifts away from her, leaving her feeling free and liberated. Should a woman who loses her faith continue to take an active role in church activities? Rosemary's not about to abdicate her position of power in the Mothers' Union to gossipy Florrie Harridance, not even when Florrie spreads rumors about Rosemary's supposed holiday fling, when she may have been too friendly with a young waiter named Stanko. Rosemary quickly squelches the gossip, but nasty rumors threaten to return when Stanko, a mysterious refugee from the former Yugoslavia, turns up one day at the vicarage, begging for Rosemary's help. In assisting Stanko, Rosemary opens herself and her family to all sorts of unwelcome attentions from inquisitive parishioners. Even her long-suffering husband, Paul, must wonder who Stanko is and what is the nature of Rosemary's involvement with him.