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Adrian Plass - The Shadow Doctor

Hodder and Stoughton 209 pages £14.99 ISBN 978 1 444 74547 4

In the past I have read some books by Adrian Plass that raise a smile at the expense of churches (that are often more than willing to become hostages to fortune).

For this reason, I was not sure that I was really looking forward to reading this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find the beginnings of a good story line set in Sussex, where I live.

Yet even with the local interest, I am afraid that the story line is not of consistent quality all the way through the novel. The plot does seem to get a bit soggy in the middle and crumbles away well before reaching the end.

The book is good in parts. It has some interesting excursions into apologetics and human psychology, and one or two sideways glances at the Church that are amusing.

One of the chapters is entitled: Loose Ends; I am afraid that for this reader, there were far too many loose ends in this book. However, if you want a relatively undemanding, clean, light read on a plane or the beach, you could do worse than pack this short novel.

John Woods

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