ACT OF MERCY by Peter Tremayne
A Celtic Mystery

Headline – Nov. 1999
ISBN 0-7472-2018-2 - Hardback

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde, MyShelf.Com
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The year is 666 and Sister Fidelma is having some doubts as to her commitment to the religious life and her uneasy relationship with the Saxon monk Eadulf. She embarks on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela aboard the vessel Barnacle Goose and immediately finds herself in the middle of trouble. Not only has one of the pilgrim band already died but another vanishes overboard during a storm the first night out. Then she comes face to face with her first love Cian and has to swallow down her personal problems to cope with the mounting problems of whodunit and why.
This is the eighth in the series and is as well-realised as ever. I often wonder when I read these books whether old Eire was quite as enlightened as this – other books (eg Melvyn Bragg’s Credo) indicate otherwise but I don’t know enough to comment. The character of Sister Fidelma is convincing and although I guessed much of the story it was tortuous and complex enough to involve the reader. Tremayne is adept at descriptions and the historical notes, map and dramatis personae are very useful. I look forward to the ninth in this unusual and entertaining series.

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