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A Christmas Hope    by Anne Perry order for
Christmas Hope
by Anne Perry
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Anne Perry's annual holiday thriller this year focuses on a determined woman who refuses to let the wrong man be convicted of a murder he did not commit. Welsh poet Dai Tregarron is known as a womanizer and brash drunk. Although his pastoral poetry is appealing, few if any individuals care for Tregarron's unseemly behavior.

When a young woman is accidentally killed at a posh party there are few witnesses to the tragic event. But those who are there accuse Tregarron of the crime. Since they come from good families, the authorities are more than willing to accept their version of what occurred.

On the other hand, Claudine Burroughs, who was attending the party with her husband, is convinced that three young men are not telling the truth. Against the wishes of her husband and defying the conventions of Victorian society, Claudine refuses to let the matter drop because she will not tolerate what she perceives as a miscarriage of justice.

Christmas is the season of miracles and it will take a miracle to save Tregarron from the gallows. With members of an upper-class clique closing ranks to protect their own and the disapproval of her own husband, Claudine is going to have to enlist a rather unlikely ally to save the accused man's neck.

There's more going on here than just making sure the true guilty party is exposed. Claudine's persistence has even more to do with standing up to any type of injustice and fighting for the rights of those who have no voice of their own. At this time of year this message should resonate with all men and women of good cheer!

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