A Perfectly Good Man

Patrick Gale

The new novel from Patrick Gale, author of Richard & Judy-bestseller ‘Notes from an Exhibition’, returning readers to his beloved Cornish coastline.

‘Do you need me to pray for you now for a specific reason?’
‘I’m going to die.’
‘We’re all going to die. Does dying frighten you?’
‘I mean I’m going to kill myself.’

When 20-year-old Lenny Barnes, paralysed in a rugby accident, commits suicide in the presence of Barnaby Johnson, the much-loved priest of a West Cornwall parish, the tragedy’s reverberations open up the fault-lines between Barnaby and his nearest and dearest – the gulfs of unspoken sadness that separate them all. Across this web of relations scuttles Barnaby’s repellent nemesis – a man as wicked as his prey is virtuous.

Returning us to the rugged Cornish landscape of ‘Notes from an Exhibition’, Patrick Gale lays bare the lives and the thoughts of a whole community and asks us: what does it mean to be good?

Reviews of A Perfectly Good Man

    • ‘Guaranteed to give the reader a warm glow’ Independent
    • ‘Warm and humane, this novel is beautifully written’ The Times
    • ‘This being Gale there’s a compelling tale to be told … a convincing, moving account of man’s struggle with faith, marriage and morality’ Sunday Times
    • ‘The unfolding nightmare for all the family of the consequences of adopting are exquisitely and painfully documented… The final chapter left me with a lump in my throat’ Salley Vickers, Guardian
    • ‘At his best, Gale is an effortlessly elastic storyteller, a writer with heart, soul, and a dark and naughty wit, one whose company you relish and trust’ Julie Myerson, Observer