A Scandal In Belgravia is a story of murder; it is also a penetrating analysis of a decaying social class and a society in transition. And it is the personal, deeply moving story of two men, Peter Proctor, recently retired as a senior British cabinet minister, and Timothy Wycliffe, a young aristocrat who was bludgeoned to death more than thirty years ago.
The two had met in the early 1950s as fledgling diplomats in the Foreign Office. Wycliffe, the grandson of a marquess, had little in common with Proctor, the self-made man on his way up. But the elegant, joyful, intensely alive Wycliffe relished all kinds of people, including his very naïve and earnest middle-class colleague.
The friendship was close for a while, gradually becoming more occasional. Even Wycliffe’s murder, shocking as it was, caused relatively little impact on his friends and the national press, who were distracted that week by more momentous events in the news.
Only now, over three decades later, does Wycliffe’s brutal death become Proctor’s obsession. Relieved of his official post after a long and distinguished career, Proctor decides to write his memoirs. But beyond a banal chapter on his youth, nothing will come. Memories of Timothy Wycliffe take over his mind, pushing aside all other thoughts. It is only in probing the past, in tracking down the people who knew Wycliffe, in discovering the shocking truth of his murder, that Peter Proctor will find peace.