Who'd want to kill Dewi Sant?

Who’d want to kill Dewi Sant?

Can time and atonement absolve a serious crime?

Dewi Sant is Welsh for Saint David, the patron saint of Wales.  In this story, which takes place almost entirely in mid-Wales, the name has been bestowed as an accolade on a famous preacher, Dewi Owen, in recognition for all the good works he has done over several decades.

Out of the blue, Dewi Owen, a lifelong, and expert rock climber, dies in a climbing accident.

Jack Woodhead, a retired London DCI who is now a Special Constable (Inspector) in the mid-Wales town of Llantisilio, becomes suspicious that the death might not be accidental.  When his suspicions are reinforced by solid evidence, he embarks on a long quest in search of a motive, which takes him all over Britain.  Along the way he meets and falls in love with Carys, Dewi Owen’s widow, their romance ending years of frustration for her and of loneliness for him.

Jack’s search leads him to an abandoned lead mine in the Welsh mountains where the suspect is hiding preparatory to fleeing the country.  Jack hates guns but, when his partner (another Special, a huge ex-rugby player) is shot, he is forced to use one, both to defend himself and to arrest the suspect.

When the suspect dies, Jack is accused of using excessive force, and his long investigation ends when the Chief Constable decides on a cover-up.  Bitter at this betrayal, Jack resigns, but some months later sets in motion a scheme which he is confident will eventually result in exposure of the real cause of Dewi Owen’s death.

The main theme of the novel is the brutality and stupidity of war, which is spelled out explicitly in some descriptive passages and conversations, and harks back to the famous 19th century Welsh pacifist, Henry Richard, MP for Merthyr from 1868-1888, who was known as the Apostle of Peace.

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