53. A Perfectly Good Man, by Patrick Gale (2011) Another impulse pickup from the library. This novel starts with the suicide of a young man whose ambitions have been snuffed out due to paralysis incurred in an accident. The local priest, Father Barnaby, is present and immediately turns himself into the police, so as not to be accused of a cover-up. The rest of the novel centres on Barnaby and those closest to him. Gale's construction hops around in time, with each chapter describing events that occurred to one of his characters, at a certain age. This allows Gale to present us with outcomes and then later fill in the actions that led to that point. In the hands of a lesser writer this construction could be confusing, but Gale is at the top of his game and this involved novel remains clear and absorbing throughout. I was surprised that this didn't even make the long-list for the Booker this year. It's certainly better than Swiiming Home.