Lady Hugh, the intolerant Bible-fanatic president of Oxford's Mayfield college, turns against anything gay. Shortly after the popular and decent student Will McEwan shoots himself in the head in St. Mark's church after waving a revolver at Reverend Francis King, who is himself found tortuously murdered by a hot poker in the head the next day. The link between both victims is the Garden, a pious society offering Christian answers to youngsters' contemporary question--its emblem being a Phoenix, which both Will's suicide note that says, "I lost my way between Gethsemane and Calvary," and a message on King's door hat says, "Life born of fire," refer to. Lewis's partner, Detective Sergeant James Hathaway, was a friend of Will's in school and again at university, but his brutally gay-bashing father Henry McEwan apparently repudiates Will posthumously finding out, and his mother believed he was going steady with a nice girl. Lewis keeps digging in all those circles, discovering more secrets... Written by
Several other posters on this site did not care for this entry into the Lewis series, but although I figured it out, I did like it. Far-fetched, maybe, but still a neat twist.
Lewis and Hathaway are investigating the suicide of a young man, who may have been driven to his act. He was gay and was associated with a now dissolved group called "The Garden." When there are two actual murders, Lewis feels that this now defunct group is somehow the cause.
The case involves homophobes at the university against the gays, a priest who is an outcast but Lewis doesn't know why, a lover of the suicide victim who has disappeared, and strange messages that pop up at the suicide and murder scenes. The case also involves Hathaway, Lewis' partner, who knew the victim. Lewis eventually has to ask Hathaway an uncomfortable question.
I like the Lewis series and can't wait to see more.
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