Father Colin McAvoy, a Scottish Jesuit priest, is the principal of the newly formed Matteo Academy. With fifty students, the majority fee paying, he looks forward to being able to offer places to another fifty students whose parents are unable to pay. One of the academy’s students, 17-year-old Philip Grant, dresses like Oscar Wilde and hasn’t troubled to define his sexual orientation. Irreverent and rebellious, he’s researching the private lives of the faculty for a video mashup. Philip’s enough of a handful, but then Auxiliary Bishop Matthew Ehrlich arrives at the school to tell Colin that he has a new pupil for him. The son of a local lawyer and psychologist, Graham Dennison has been accused of trying to kill his mother. And then one of the boys is found dead from a possible drugs overdose.
This is an intriguing novel, with a wonderful cast of characters. Sarah Markham comes across as a strong lead character and with her friend, Jesuit Priest Colin McAvoy they attempt to unravel the mystery of the murder of a young pupil at McAvoy’s school. This book could best be described as an Agatha Christie type murder mystery. It is intelligent in its plot and themes and brilliantly worked out. A Circumstance of Blood is not one of those thrilling, page turning reads, but is something more. Skilfully written, it gets under your skin and won’t let go. A thoroughly satisfying read. I do hope there is a sequel?
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Click the book cover to go the Amazon page.