When a rare, misprinted edition of a sixteenth-century Bible is stolen from Vercaster Cathedral, Augustus Maltravers, a visiting playwright and the irreverent brother-in-law of Canon Cowan, sees the theft as nothing more than an amusing distraction.
But the matter turns more serious when his close friend, Diana Porter, is discovered missing from the Dean's garden party.
Diana is a talented and beautiful London actress – but also a woman who has recently been involved in controversial publicity.
As the police launch a nationwide hunt, her severed hand is found nailed to a front door.
The search for Diana escalates into a murder hunt.
Consumed with fears for Diana’s safety, Maltravers cannot stop thinking there could be a bizarre connection with the stolen Bible.
With his partner, Tess Davy, he starts asking his own questions, but finds no answers.
As the festival continues with the staging of ancient Mystery Plays, his anguish mounts until a chance remark leads him to a horrifying explanation for Diana’s disappearance.
And Maltravers is about to discover that a single ‘Act of Evil’ can have terrifying consequences.
‘An Act of Evil’ is a brilliantly tense murder mystery that is perfect for fans of PD James and Ruth Rendell.
Praise for Robert Richardson.
''With this, his first novel, Robert Richardson makes a most impressive debut as a writer of the classical English detective story… He knows how to create suspense and an atmosphere of incipient evil; he provides us with a genuine puzzle, his characters are believable people, and the motive of his murderer is psycho-logically credible.” P D James
“Skilful rerouting and the taste of real tears” The Sunday Times
“Eccentrics, suspects and witty writing abound” The Times
“Here is a book to be missed only at your own peril” Armchair Detective
“Elegantly written, beautifully characterised, suspenseful and oddly moving” Mystery Reader’s Journal
“Grand entertainment, deft handling and suave wit” Publishers Weekly
Robert Richardson is a journalist and editor who lives in England.
Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.