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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.