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An insight into Thomas Pitt.
on January 21, 2002
Brunswick Garden is a story that is set in the home of a highly placed religious scholar. A death there brings Pitt to investiage. However, before Pitt even gets more than a brief glimpse of what has happened, pressure is brought to bear from the government and Church of England to reach a quick conclusion with as little public fanfare a possible. This sets Pitt onto a path that is even more determined to be thorough and as painstaking as possible; he shows he will not be dictated to as he carries out his investigation.
As he enters deeper into the household, he discovers that he has crossed paths with his brother-in-law Dominic Cord - a man Charlotte, Pitt's wife, was infatuated with as a teenager and young woman. His return to their life rekindles Charlotte's thoughts of him and also restokes Pitt's resentment towards him. The fact that he is a suspect makes it harder for Pitt to remain purely objective because of the inner resentment he feels against Dominic. This situation makes Pitt more human and believeable. If I met a man in the course of my work, who was once the object of my wife's adoration, I'd have a hard time staying neutral and not resenting the hell out of him too. Perry catches this emotional load that Pitt has to bear exactly right.
Throughout the book, emotions are barely under the surface. From Charlotte's renewed attention to Dominic, Pitt's resentment of Dominic and Charlotte, religious beliefs etc., there is an current that is almost palpable and real. Where these emotions lead is surprising as well as sad. In one case, these is the start of an affection that can only be returned obliquely and indirectly, not as it should be. While Tellman and Gracie continue thier somewhat eccentric courtship - neither has recognized thier true feelings for the other or if they have, they are reluctant to admit them, to themselves and to each other.
This is a book that I found on par with Perry's other writings. This gives us a new developement of Pitt's charecter - we see his emotions and his own insecurities quite vividly. I think it goes a long way to giving background and depth to the relationship of Charlotte and Thomas, making them more believeable as people. I highly recommend this book to all Perry fans.