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The Book of Killowen
Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire #4
Erin Hart 

March 5, 2013 / ISBN 9781451634846

Reviewed by Linda Morelli

When a body is found in the trunk of a car buried in the Killowen bogs of Tipperary, Ireland, Detective Stella Cusack and her partner, Fergal Molloy, investigate the centuries old body buried beside the ruins of a medieval monastery. Stella is told to contact the Keeper of Conservation at the National Museum of Ireland, who sends in two scientific experts, Irish archeologist Cormac Maguire and American pathologist Nora Gavin, who extract and preserve the body. Soon a second body is found beneath the first: that of Benedict Kavanagh, a TV philosopher who has made more than his share of enemies.

While Stella and Fergal investigate the suspects and motives for Kavanagh’s death, Nora and Cormac search for clues to the bog man’s identity. His wounds point to murder and they realize he may be a ninth century monk slain for his heretical writings.

Both investigations soon weave inextricably together to provide an intriguing, captivating story that spans centuries and involves a cast of characters as memorable as the exciting, solid plot. The flashbacks are so beautifully written that reading them is like a dream disrupted by a sudden awakening into the present.

The characters are expertly portrayed with well-developed emotions that involved me from the beginning. I was especially drawn to Cormac’s frustrated father, Joseph, who suffers from severe aphasia, and the ninth century Eóghan who had his own troubling affliction, but also a profound purpose. It’s clear that Cormac and Nora are two dedicated scientists who search until they find the answers they seek, and Stella and Fergal are interesting and deserve a story of their own.

Ms. Hart is a fantastic author whose prose is both beautiful and absorbing. I was carried into a haunting world of mystery and suspense that lingers still. Highly recommended.

Reviewer's Note:  Erin Hart was nominated for the Agatha and Anthony Awards for Haunted Ground, her debut novel (first in this series) and won the Friends of American Writers Award in 2004.

 Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.

Reviewed 2013