Monday, January 7, 2008

A Christmas Visitor - Anne Perry

Another novella about Christmas and in this case about doing the right thing...this is my second novella by Perry and once again it's very good.

Henry Rathbone arrives to spend Christmas at the Dreghorn family manor house near Ullswater. He is greeted by the news that the master of the house, Judah Dreghorn has slipped while crossing a stream in the grounds of the estate in the middle of the night, and drowned. Not only this, but Ashton Gower, recently released from prison, is slandering Judah's name, claiming that his family rightfully owns the estate and that the forged deeds for which he was imprisoned were in fact genuine. To Rathbone and the two remaining Dreghorn brothers, also returning to the Lakes for Christmas, Judah's mysterious death and Gower's outrageous claims seem inextricably linked

From the beginning we know that there is some mystery to uncover. Everyone believes Judah was a good person and there could only be another explanation to his actions than dishonesty. At the same time his death might not be accidental, but is the one responsible the most obvious suspect. To find the answers to these quenstions Henry Rathbone investigates what really happened 11 years before and what knowledge Judah had of it and which course of action was he planning. The part I enjoyed the most was precisely after the truth is found out the dilemma the characters face in to do or not to do the right thing. Especially because it was not their fault that the wrong thing had happened but they will be the one's to suffer the consequences. I really like the psycological "games" Perry makes the characters play and my only regret is that these are not the center of the story.

Grade: A-

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