Patrick is a young journalist working in south London for a local paper he sees as way beneath his dignity. He is sent to interview a controversial woman priest and falls obsessively in love with her. He is writing to his girlfriend from prison to explain why he is on remand for the priest’s murder and ‘intimate assault’.
‘On the face of it, scriptural exegesis looks like pretty unpromising material but it is
transformed into the basis for a gripping, plausible and beautifully written literary thriller.
This small book is nuanced, complex and wide-ranging, taking in love, hypocrisy, despair
and faith. The lyrics to songs by the made-up heavy metal band Sword Rampant (such is
[Johnston]’s attention to detail that the group has its own website) are worthy of Spinal Tap.’ Laura Wilson in The Guardian
‘British author [Johnston] follows her children’s novel, What You See Is What You Get, with a dark novel for adults that raises disturbing questions about faith and religion. … [Johnston]’s needle-sharp characterization of the deranged Patrick is nothing short of terrifying.’ US Publishers Weekly
‘Very wicked and beautifully written’ Maureen Freely
‘I doubt an ostensibly religious theme has ever been better served, or been simultaneously as scholarly, well-written, compelling, funny and, thank God, filthy. This atheist loved it.’ Martin Rowson
‘A smart and eminently readable literary thriller’ Patrick Neate