On the list of FlashlightWorthy's Best Crime Fiction of 2009 is R.J. Ellory's A Quiet Belief in Angels: "There's immense pleasure to be found in a novel that's a touch of class; one that raises the bar. In 2009, the USA struck gold with A Quiet Belief in Angels, the first publication from UK-based R. J. Ellory with The Overlook Press. There’s more to come and indeed a backlist to be read, but A Quiet Belief in Angels is worthy of note.
One sentence in this novel sums it up perfectly, as imparted by its narrator, Joseph Calvin Vaughan: "It was a life, but so distant from what I’d wished."
A Quiet Belief in Angels is the story of the life of Joseph Vaughan and how much of his life is stolen away, how parts of the lives of others are stolen around him, and how lives are taken through the simple act of murder. The story is one superbly told, with great intelligence; the characterization and cultural settings are as deep and rich as a tapestry; the historical context reads as precise as a carefully researched academic tome. But what, above all, keeps you reading? It is the story that Joseph Calvin Vaughan has to tell you. And what a remarkable story it is."