Ken Tucker
July 25, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The 6th Lamentation

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
William Brodrick
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B+

Eduard Schwermann is a ghastly human: a former SS officer in World War II, responsible for numerous deaths in Auschwitz, who one day shows up in present-day England at a priory and asks for sanctuary. This poses a dilemma for the Roman Catholic Church, particularly Father Anselm, a lawyer-turned-priest to whom Schwermann makes his plea. Author Brodrick is, in a sense, the opposite of Anselm — an Augustinian friar — turned — lawyer and now first-time novelist. Brodrick sets up what sounds like an intriguing yet primarily intellectual moral puzzle, and his dialogue is a bit stilted, but he adds several suspenseful elements that turn The 6th Lamentation into a brashly original, thoughtful courtroom thriller.

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