"The Book of Killowen", by Erin Hart

The Book of Killowen - Erin Hart

Book 4, in the Nora Gavin series

As in the previous installment “The Book of Killowen” is born from events and figures from Ireland’s rich past and mysterious present. The author’s vivid imagination has added to her historical mystery a tad of science and a wonderful murder caper to captivate us. 

Nora Gavin, her protagonist is a forensic pathologist who has found a new life in Ireland with her lover, archaeologist Cormac Maguire. They are called to investigate murders rooted deep in Irish history, often involving ancient bodies found in bogs. 

This story begins as each of the previous books did, with an archaeological discovery. The inspiration came from real life experience when in 2006 a heavy machinery operator digging in the bog in the County of Tipperary spotted a leather bound book. With this in mind Ms. Hart spun a fascinating tale.

Nora and Cormac are sent to Killowen to investigate a ninth century body found in the trunk of a car submerge in the bog. Pinned under him was the body of Benedict Kavanagh, the missing pop philosopher who is known to tear apart rivals on his television debates. 

While on the case, Cormac and Nora lodge at a nearby artists’ colony, organic farm, and sanctuary for eccentric souls. … Working parallel with local detective Stella Cusack, they soon discover that the people there have a lot of secrets…

The story is told from a different point of view weaving the past and the present together in different chapters. It is a richly layered creation, an entertaining mix of forensic, archeology and history that teases with hints and slowly reveals its dark secrets. This story is character driven and there are a number of them to keep track of. The author has crafted a wonderful glimpse into the world of monasteries and ancient manuscripts and once again has provided a texture and multifaceted plot that held my attention from beginning to end. The author doesn't linger on background stories so I highly suggest starting with “The Haunted Ground”, the first installment, in order to fully comprehend and enjoy this series.