Haunted Ground

Published By: Scribner

Book Category: Fiction, Mystery & Detective

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Reviewed by Andrea Sisco

While cutting the turf, Brendan McGann literally uncovers the perfectly preserved head of a red-haired woman, in a peat bog located on his farm in County Galway, Ireland.

Cormac Maguire, an archeologist and faculty member at the University of Dublin; Nora Gavin, an American lecturing at Trinity College; and Garret Devaney, a local detective, investigate the gruesome find. This body could be a recent death or one that has gone undetected for centuries, given the preservation abilities of peat bogs.

Nora is both drawn to and repelled by the find. As a scientist she is excited about the potential information that the head could yield, but is also disturbed by the reminder of her own sister's death. Cormac continues to mourn the loss of his friend and colleague, Gabriel McCrossan. It is to be his first trip into the field without McCrossan. Garret Devaney is there to determine if a crime has been committed.

While in County Galway, Nora and Cormac are hired by Hugh Osborne, primary suspect in the disappearance of his wife and young son some two years previous, to do an archaeological survey on a construction site. Nora and Cormac agree to stay at Osborne's manor, Bracklyn House. There they meet Osborne's cousin Lucy, an odd woman, who is Hugh's housekeeper and Lucy's troubled 17-year-old son, Jeremy.

Disturbing things occur at Bracklyn House during Nora and Cormac's stay, an attraction between the two develops, the investigation into the history of the preserved head takes twists and turns—and the mystery of the disappearance of Hugh's wife and son takes center stage.

Haunted Ground by Erin Hart is a riveting debut mystery. It is written with an intensity and fluidity that begs to be read slowly and savored because it is not just a grand story but because it is filled with interesting information about Celtic culture and folklore, Irish music, and history.

Armchair Interviews can't wait to read Lake of Sorrows and highly recommends this one.

Visit www.erinhart.com

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