Sunday At The Cross Bones

Fourth Estate 1 May 2007 pb

ISBN: 9780007139323

Fourth Estate 1 May 2007 pb

ISBN: 9780007139323

It’s 1930, and the streets of London are teeming with homeless, money-grubbing men and women washed up in the wake of the General Strike. The bars and cafes are full of seedy chancers and girls who will forget their mothers’ warnings for the price of a mutton-chop supper.

Through this moral wasteland strides Harold Davidson, clergyman, prototypical social worker, impulsive saver of souls. No London park, no Holborn public house or Drury Lane brothel is a stranger to his mission: to find girls who have strayed, or are about to stray, down the primrose path to Hell, and pull them back by any means at his disposal. Meanwhile, in the little parish of Stiffkey on the Norfolk coast, his Irish wife Moyra is trying to feed her family and stop the local Major from wrecking her husband’s reputation. Her letters to a Dublin confidante reveal the extraordinary journey that has brought her marriage to its present dire state.

When Harold meets Barbara Harris, a sixteen-year-old prostitute who confounds his ethical certainties, it’s the start of a chain of events that will pitch all their lives into disarray and lead inexorably to a sensational trial and a notorious defrocking…

John Walsh is the author of The Falling Angels: An Irish Romance and Are you Talking to Me? A Life Through the Movies. He is Assistant Editor of The Independent and lives in London.

A voluble, stylish, moving gem…comic, sympathetic, deeply affecting…It’s an enthralling circus of a book.’ Sunday Telegraph