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Archive for the ‘Andrea Carter’ Category

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Published: 4 April 2017

Description:

A woman’s body washes up on a remote beach on the Inishowen peninsula. Partially-clothed, with a strange tattoo on her thigh, she is identified as Marguerite Etienne, a French woman who has been living in the area.

Solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is consumed by guilt; Marguerite was her client, and for the second time in her life Ben has failed someone who needed her, with tragic consequences. So when local Sergeant Tom Molloy dismisses Marguerite’s death as the suicide of a disturbed and lonely woman, Ben cannot let it lie.

Ben uncovers Marguerite’s strange past as a member of a French doomsday cult, which she escaped twenty years previously but not without leaving her baby daughter behind. Disturbed by what appears to be chilling local indifference to Marguerite’s death, Ben pieces together the last few weeks of the French woman’s life in Inishowen. What she discovers causes her to question the fragile nature of her own position in the area, and she finds herself crossing boundaries both personal and professional to unearth local secrets long buried.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

When I heard there was a follow up to Andrea Carter’s “Death at Whitewater Church” I was instantly curious, having thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the Inishowen Mystery series I was keen to see if the second instalment would live up to the standard in place and I should never have doubted the author, once again she has penned an amazing novel that grabbed my attention from the first page.

Solicitor Ben O’Keeffe really should have looked into a career as a rally driver, indeed when we first encounter her in this book she is driving at breakneck pace along the coast roads of Inishowen to where a body has washed ashore.  Fearing the worst, Ben wants to find out if it is her client Marguerite Etienne and sadly Ben is able to identify the body as being Marguerite.  The Guards write it off as suicide, especially after hearing from Ben that Marguerite had been to see her to draw up a will, thinking that she was putting her affairs in order before taking her own life.  Ben is not so sure and demands answers.

Ben is a tenacious character, her determination to do the right thing for those she cares about can often lead her into dangerous situations and at times she seems to have a reckless regard for her own safety.  But her kindness and compassion towards others offsets this, always taking the time to speak to the locals in the village she works and lives in, visiting the bookshop to chat with Phyllis (and rehome a few bundles of orphan books – good lass!), and being an integral part of the local community.
The chemistry between Ben and Guard Tom Molloy is wonderfully scripted, as the reader only sees their interactions from Ben’s point of view it’s hard to tell is the gruff and stoic Molloy feels the same way, but you do get a feeling there is ‘something’ between them, but both have their secrets and won’t open up to each other.

The clever way that the plot is woven means there are links and clues that the reader will try to piece together to preempt where the tale is heading (unsuccessfully in my case),  but Andrea Carter masterfully draws it all together with a fantastic conclusion.

As I mentioned, this is the second instalment in the Inishowen Mystery series, and this book is perfectly readable as a standalone, there are hints to previous events and Ben’s past before she settled in Glendara but the author includes enough detail so that you don’t feel you’ve missed out on anything pertinent.  I would however recommend reading the series in order purely for enjoyment if nothing else.  This is a wonderfully atmospheric setting for a crime thriller, the windswept beaches, the jagged coastal settings and the small villages make for a brilliant backdrop and add to the tension that builds throughout the plot.

Now to wait patiently for the third instalment……….

You can buy a copy of “Treacherous Strand” via:

Amazon
The Book Depository
Wordery

My thanks to Helen at Little, Brown Book Group for the opportunity to read and review this book.

 

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Death at Whitewater Church

Author : Andrea Carter
Published: 03 September 2015
Reviewed: 08 September 2015

What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review via NetGalley.

 

4 out of 5 stars


When a skeleton is discovered, wrapped in a blanket, in the hidden crypt of a deconsecrated church, everyone is convinced the bones must be those of Conor Devitt, a local man who went missing on his wedding day six years previously. But the post mortem reveals otherwise.

Solicitor Benedicta ‘Ben’ O’Keeffe is acting for the owners of the church, and although an unwelcome face from her past makes her reluctant to get involved initially, when Conor’s brother dies in strange circumstances shortly after coming to see her, she finds herself drawn in to the mystery. Whose is the skeleton in the crypt and how did it get there? Is Conor Devitt still alive, and if so is there a link? What happened on the morning of his wedding to make him disappear?

Negotiating between the official investigation, headed up by the handsome but surly Sergeant Tom Molloy, and obstructive locals with secrets of their own, Ben unravels layers of personal and political history to get to the truth of what happened six years before.

When a skeleton is discovered in a deconsecrated church in a small Irish community, the local gossip mill goes into overdrive.  Is it Conor Devitt, the young man that went missing on his wedding day six years ago?  Was it left behind when the church was deconsecrated? 
Ben O’Keffe, the local solicitor, is unlucky enough to have been with the surveyor when the skeleton was found, and so is linked to it and the investigation of it’s identity by the Guards.  
In her position as the local solicitor Ben O’Keffe has access to information that can help unravel the mystery, but along the way she discovers more information that could potentially cause her danger.

Ben is portrayed as inquisitive and determined, which comes across well, indeed you feel yourself almost urging her on to question things more and more.  And when it comes to her struggles with her own past, you feel bound to keep reading to find out what’s holding her back from Tom Molloy and everyone else in the village on a personal level. 
The gruff Tom Molloy is well written, this is a character you feel frustration with, but at the same time, take a liking to for his well hidden soft side.  The local villagers are just what you would expect, all with their own tales but all connected somehow or another and each one so different.   

Andrea Carter writes well, the landscape descriptions are very detailed, it is possible to imagine the windswept beaches, the jagged coastal settings and the small villages.  

Small village life is also well described, everyone knows everyone’s story, everyone is linked somehow or another and all it takes is speaking to the right person to find out the history of someone. 

The pace of the novel is good, to begin with the scene has to be set, discoveries have to be made and evidence needs to be linked together but there is a great feeling of involvement  and enjoyment for the reader.  As the pace picks up there is the definite feeling of this being a page turner, desperately trying to find out how it all links together and what Ben’s secret is.   

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Thrillers and Mystery.

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 3rd September .  A copy can be purchased here Death at Whitewater Church (UK Hardback Edition)
 

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