Book Review: Dead Man’s Ransom (The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael #9) by Ellis Peters
“There has not been a waking moment since when I have not wished it undone, but to undo is not so easy as to do.”
Murder, star-crossed lovers, battles, international politics, and mystery: who could ask for more? Brother Cadfael travels into his native Wales on an errand of mercy that goes hopelessly wrong. Dame Parteger takes the reader into the shadowlands where good intentions and impulse actions create a lifetime of sorrow.
“If your cousin had been half the man you are, your life would be safe enough.” “Have you not understood even yet? He’s is better than I, a thousand times better!”
Slow start with copious history dumps. Parteger usually does a better job of leaping into the story and filling backstory as the story progresses.
“Death, after all, is the common expectation from birth. Neither heroes nor cowards can escape it.”
As usual, all it not as it first appears. As usual our Benedictine sleuth is even misled part of the way. Justice and mercy clash.
“If none of us ever fell short, or put a foot astray, everything would be good in this great world, but we stumble and fall, every one. We must deal with what we have.”
Just finished this one – I agree it has too much background, even though some of it turns out t be relevant. But it is full of foibles and the kind of human, incomplete solutions we all live with. A bit predictable in the star-crossed lovers department.