"The Hanged Man: A Digby Rolf Mystery" by Raymond M Hall

The Hanged Man: A Digby Rolf Mystery by [Hall, Raymond M]


John Moorcroft is a quiet unassuming young man who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and yet he is in Pentonville prison, waiting to be hanged for the murder of Sally Rowland!

Digby Rolf, the prison chaplain, escorts John to the hangman’s noose and witnesses his fall to oblivion. Digby’s Bible takes on a life of its own, falling open at a passage which Digby knows only too well, convincing him of John’s innocence.

After resigning from the prison, Digby begins his own investigations into John’s case, uncovering a multitude of conspiracies, which takes him through London's dark underbelly of the 1950's and into dangerous life threatening situations for which he is ill-equipped but ultimately leading to Sally’s murderer.

He is assisted by Summer, a young lady who arrives to stay at Mrs Pentley’s boarding house. Digby is so focussed on the case he almost misses the romance which is staring him in the face.

John Moorcroft may have been hanged and his body interred, but he cannot be at peace until the real killer is brought to justice. The Reverend Digby Rolf relies on his faith for guidance and protection, unaware that a guardian angel is always by his side.

This book began slowly with the accused awaiting execution. Digby entered, and the unexplainable bible incident happened. Snap! It captured my interest. For the most part, I became invested in his character. Some issues arose further into the story. He entered a seedy club, sat in a room, put money into a box, and engaged in a peep show? That contradicted his morals, in my eyes, even though he'd removed his collar and resigned. Summer's character seemed superficial, and I didn't connect to her. She endured sexual attacks with virtually no reaction or response. Although they confess an affection for each other near the end, I didn't feel any chemistry between them. The real murderer became known earlier in the book than I'd expected. I liked that John Moorcroft, wrongly convicted and executed, continued to be a character and played a role in the development. There was a moment in the final steps where the exposed villain held onto hope that he would avoid the noose, and it led to a satisfying ending. 


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