Synopses & Reviews
From rural Georgia to New York City, a harrowing, evocative, and mesmerizing tale of murder and redemption.
1939. In the small, rural community of Augusta Falls, Georgia, twelve-year-old Joseph Vaughan learns of the brutal assault and murder of a young girl, the first in a series of killings that will plague the community over the next decade. Joseph and his friends are determined to protect the town from the evil in their midst and they form The Guardians to watch over the community. But the murderer evades them and they watch helplessly as one child after another is taken. Even when the killings cease, a shadow of fear follows Joseph for the rest of his life. The past won't stay buried and, fifty years later, Joseph must confront the nightmare that has overshadowed his entire life...
"In his American debut, British author Ellory (A Simple Act of Violence) presents an intriguing but overstuffed saga of a man haunted by a serial killer. In 1939, in rural Augusta Falls, Ga., someone brutally rapes and murders a classmate of 12-year-old Joseph Vaughn, the first in what will become more than 30 similar crimes over decades. At age 15, living alone with his mother after the death of his father and yearning to be a writer, Vaughan gathers together a group of local boys and forms the Guardians in the hope of preventing more attacks. It's the failure of the group, and himself in particular, that eventually drives Vaughan to Brooklyn, where, in an improbable twist, he gets caught up in another murder linked to the killings back home. Ellory simply tries to juggle too many narrative elements. The sheer number of characters and subplots dilute the quiet power of his prose, particularly evident in scenes of Vaughn's childhood. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A beautiful and haunting book. This is a tour de force from R. J. Ellory." Michael Connelly
"A meaty, involving drama which will catch you up in an emotional rollercoaster — great reading". My Weekly
"Each jolt strikes perfectly, and the reader will seek, utterly riveted, this masochistic beating right to the end of the book... This is thriller writing of the very highest order." Matthew Lewin, The Guardian
"There aren't enough beautifully written novels, that are also great mysteries. Like Dragon Tattoo, A Quiet Belief in Angels is one of them." James Patterson
Growing up in rural Georgia during the 1940s, Joseph Vaughan finds himself at the center of a series of mutilations and killings of young girls. Just a teenager, Joseph becomes determined to protect his community from the killer, but he is powerless in preventing more murders — and no one is ever caught. Ten years later one of his neighbors is found hanging from a rope, surrounded by belongings of the dead girls; the killings cease, and the nightmare appears to be over. Desperate and plagued by everything he has witnessed, Joseph sets out to forge a new life in New York. But even there the past won't leave him alone-for it seems that the murderer still lives and is killing again, and that the secret to his identity lies in Joseph's own history.
About the Author
R. J. Ellory is the author of five novels. Two of Ellory's earlier works were shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.