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The Gardens of the Dead (Father Anselm, #2)
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The Gardens of the Dead (Father Anselm Mysteries #2)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  231 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A gripping new tale of intrigue from a “John le Carré in the making” (Daily Telegraph, London)

William Brodrick’s extraordinary new thriller, like its predecessor The Sixth Lamentation, focuses again on Father Anselm, a barrister turned monk who finds himself at the center of a mystery involving family, the long tentacles of deception and the healing power of retribution.
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 7th 2006 by Viking Adult (first published January 1st 2006)
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William Brodrick follows his brilliant debut novel, The 6th Lamentation, with another Father Anselm mystery, Gardens of the Dead. Before her untimely death, a former colleague of Anselm's, Elizabeth Glendinning, QC, reopened a case on which they both had worked a decade before. Glendinning left some rather cryptic instructions, along with a key, asking Anselm to complete her work. The case involved that of one Graham Riley, a shady wheeler-dealer who had been accused of pimping but was released ...more
I wouldn't label this a mystery (as the library did). Not much thrill or suspense. At first I didn't think I was going to like the book; I had a hard time making sense of the author's style of writing. I stuck wih it though. I'm still not sure if I liked the book or if I read it really quickly in order to make sense of it. It was a good read but I'm still confused about one thing...Riley. What happened to him at the end? I thought I had it figured out but not quite sure.
Elizabeth, a barrister dies under suspicious circumstances leaving behind a husband and her son. She also leaves behind an envelope for a fellow friend and ex-barrister Anslem (who is now a monk) and instructs him to open it only in the event of her death. The story goes back in time to explain how Elizabeth fears that she may have represented someone who was actually guilty of a crime. And so to set her mistakes right, she places clues and tasks for select individuals she has put in place to do ...more
Alan Marchant
The blurbs for The Gardens of the Dead may mislead you into expecting a mystery novel or a legal thriller. But this is more basic novel and satisfying novel about human relationships. A dead judge has arranged for an apparently unconnected assortment of characters to persecute her antogonist. For most of the book, the multiple points of view create a Kafkaesque confusion. The weakness of the novel is a symmetrically structured underlying plot and moral (secrets are bad) that draw the story out t ...more
After reading many unfavourable reviews of this book, I braced myself for disappointment, but then I absolutely loved this book! I actually read it more slowly towards the end, because I wanted it to last longer. Wonderful, interesting characters - according to many reviews too many, but make notes if you have to, to keep track. This book really makes you think about our choices in life and the limitations our circumstances, talents and personality traits place on those choices. His views on the ...more
Elizabeth, a barrister, dies from a heart attack and leaves a puzzle of actions for different behind. The main point in it is Riley, a man whome they don't seem to get behind bars.
That would be the end of it if it would have been a very basic crime story. But there is more behind Elzabeth her life, the favours she left behind, the evidence and pieces....all leading to one thing, which only she knew but believes will be found out by the right people.

The story was peaceful and calm while at the sa
If you don't mind wondering what in the heck is going on until the very end, then this is the book for you. I felt like I was wandering around in London fog, trying to glimpse the trail left by the deceased barrister. Throw in a main character with short-term memory loss, and know the obscurity was no different than what Father Anselm was experiences. Brodrick again explores the mix of guilt and innocence, actions and consequences, but this isn't as strong a book as his first. The moral question ...more
As a story not as good as The Sixth Lamentation, which did a better job of balancing reflection with a solid punch, but as a commentary perhaps more interesting because of the less-explored territory.
E. Aucoin
Not as good a story as his first book, but still well-written.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thought I'd figured out this book but I was wrong. Easy read but worthwhile. Not as good as the Bernard Gunther books though
Marta Łopion
Quite interesting
I couldn't finish this book. I got over halfway and just realised I didn't care what happened and I wasn't going to waste any more of my life forcing myself to read it. I just did not gel with the writing style at all. I found it hard to get into and then once I had got into it I found I didn't care about any of the characters or the plot. I think we'll just have to chalk this up to a clash of styles because I didn't think the writing was bad or the plot was particularly terrible, it just wasn't ...more
A good mystery with a twist. It's kind of psychological, but I liked the literary style. Here's a quote:

"…Father Andrew tugged at an eyebrow. 'I tried to comfort her, saying it's not the beginning that matters, but rather the undiscovered end, because it completely transforms our understanding of where we came from, what we've done, who we ultimately are…I said it was never too late, that even last words or a final act could bring about this fantastic change…that it was like magic. '"
A Good Read with great Characters

I thought this book by Mr. Brodrick was a satisfying read. I didn't feel it was a terrific read, although I did enjoy the ending and the characters that the author developed in the story. The author just seemed to make me feel that I really knew the characters, which some authors fail to do. If you looking for an easy beach read then this novel would make that fit, and it's still a good read.
This must be one of the worst mystery stories ever written. I wasn't even sure what the "mystery" was for the longest time, and when I did figure it out it was ridiculous. The author is British and made lots of references that went right over my head, but even that would have been okay if only the storyline and characters hadn't driven me nuts!
Anselm is back in another mystery with wonderful moral dilemmas. As with his earlier book, I cannot synopsize the plot, for the scripting is excellent, as is the writing. I only ranked this four stars (four-point-five, if I could) because perhaps the novelty had worn off and I did not find the otherwise excellent plot as compelling.
At first I thought - incredibly clever thriller. Then I think the author became a victim of his attempt to be clever and ended up a tad confused. The end threw in a bunch of curve balls to liven things up a bit - but it seemed to have been done out of panic.

A pretty good plotline though - just confused storytelling.
Convoluted - interlocking puzzles. Too many coincidences, too many loose ends drawn together at the end. Still like the Anselm character, but the plot of this one dragged on for too long. I was disappointed.
Loved his first book (Sixth Lamentation) and I'm sorry to say I was disappointed in this one. Just, overall, not as good as his first in the series. I see now that he's got a third out, and I'll give it a try.
Jun 20, 2008 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: swap-or-sell
Bought in Fiji - a wonderfully fast paced, engaging read. Lots of wonderful characters, twists and complexity. sometimes maybe a little too much!

I have the paperback version printed in 2007.
Some good moral questions to ponder. A bit confusing with lots of jumping from past to present. Tons of British references which would make more sense if I were British. Still quite interesting.
Jo at Jaffareadstoo
I thought that this book got off to a promising start but fizzled out in the middle and tbh I lost interest in both the characters and the plot.
'What will grow in the space I leave behind? Something for the delight of others, or pain?....................Now is the time to decide'
While I missed some on the local references by the English writer and story, it was an excellent book. I couldn't put it down!
Hooray, an intelligent mystery that avoids the usual cliches. Looking forward to reading more books by this author.
Reasonably good but slightly disappionting after reading the 6th Lamentation which was far better
Patricia Ann
I am glad that I decided to read his second novel. It wasn't slow and had a quite a good ending.
This was entertaining but I wanted necessarily recommend it.
I am coming to think of Father Anselm as a new classic detective.
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William Brodrick was born in Bolton, Lancashire in 1960. Having lived in Canada since he was eleven, he went to school in Australia and England, and went on to take a BA in Philosophy and Theology, then a MTh (Master of Theology) and a Degree of Utter Barrister. Brodrick worked on a logging camp in British Columbia, Canada, before joining the Augustinian Friars (1979-1985). He began his life as a ...more
More about William Brodrick...

Other Books in the Series

Father Anselm Mysteries (5 books)
  • The Sixth Lamentation (Father Anselm, #1)
  • A Whispered Name (Father Anselm, #3)
  • The Day of the Lie: A Father Anselm Novel (Father Anselm, #4)
  • The Discourtesy of Death (Father Anselm, #5)
The Sixth Lamentation (Father Anselm, #1) A Whispered Name (Father Anselm, #3) The Day of the Lie: A Father Anselm Novel (Father Anselm, #4) The Discourtesy of Death (Father Anselm, #5) The Sixth Lamentation: A Father Anselm Novel

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