The Visiting Angel
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His brother, as a boy, was unafraid of heights… but Patrick was hardly a high-wire artist. Patrick Shepherd has been struggling for as long as he can remember: orphaned as a young boy, as an adult he is passionately committed to rebuilding the lives of the residents of the halfway house he runs. But when he’s called to talk a man named Saul down from a window-ledge, Patrick’s world is shocked into new life. Saul looks just like Liam, Patrick’s brother and childhood hero – who died years ago, or so he’d been told. Dissolute, charming and uncannily perceptive, Saul claims to be an angel. He is on a misson to heal the fragile souls of a very particular group of people: Sarah, a clinic nurse trapped by grief; Tusa, an Angolan refugee who fears having her last hopes dashed if her daughter has to take HIV tests; her boyfriend, Findlay, missing since he challenged a corrupt minicab boss; and Edward, accused of murdering the lost child the whole city has been searching for. For Patrick to understand the meaning of this visitation and get his own life back on track, he first must face his traumatic childhood in a council orphanage and the terrifying betrayal that tore the brothers apart.
"A deeply impressive novel . . . at once surprising, thematically rich and often very moving." Observer
"The scenes among those written off by the world have a devastating accuracy, with a tender depiction of love among the disregarded and abused . . . The plot moves to a terrific climax." Independent
"A humane and affecting tale of atonement in a troubled society" Guardian
"Angels are where it’s now at. Wilson’s stunning, shattering and ultimately moving tale is not for the faint-hearted" Mirror
"A fascinating and compassionate novel" The Times