The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey

The Western Wind

Samantha Harvey

A respected resident of a medieval village drowns in the river. Murder, suicide or accident? To the sympathetic parish priest what matters is that he went to his death unshriven; to his parishioners, it is the pardon given for confessing to the murder which reduces the days spent in purgatory. Wonderfully atmospheric with a great cast of believable characters struggling against a harsh and impoverished environment. I loved it.


'This pardon is our best hope of luring the murderer to confession -'
'There isn't a murderer.'
'So we think, until one is lured. As I said, this pardon is our best hope of luring the murderer to confession, and it isn't going to be offered after today. Tomorrow, too late. A good pardon, Reve - the most you or I could offer, the most anyone in this parish is going to get. I can tell you there are plenty of people here who need it, murder or not. You aren't a village that's going to crowd heaven. Do you know purgatory has a waiting room? They call it Oakham, there are so many of you there.

  • The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
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