Oak beams, logs, oxcarts, and tubs of food are just some of the random things farmer Brendan McGann has found in the bogs of his Ireland farm. Due to the chemical compounds found in most bogs, preservation is strong and things—both living and dead—can go on unchanged in bogs for centuries. So when McGann comes across some strands of red hair, he figures they belong to an abandoned doll or toy…but little does he know that those beautiful red strands are actually attached to the head of one young female…which, unfortunately, is missing a body.
Enter archeologist Cormac Maguire and American anatomist Nora Gavin. Maguire and Gavin partner up to learn all they can about this cailin rua, as they lovingly call her.
However, more mysteries are yet to be discovered in this small Irish town. As word spreads about the “bog head”, suspicious eyes turn to McGann’s neighbor, Hugh Osborne, who is already under watch for the suspected murder of his wife and child. Local detective Garret Devaney, who has been working on Osborne’s case for nearly two years, begins looking at the case in a new light as Maguire and Gavin work tirelessly to bring justice to the beheaded bog dweller. Things really start to get interesting when the work of Maguire, Gavin, and Devaney begins to intersect…and the reader is quick to join the team and help them discover all they can about the secrets that lie in this small Irish town.
Told with great attention to Irish culture, Haunted Ground by Erin Hart literally has something for everyone. Packed with adventure, mystery, romance, music, archeology, science, and geography, this is not only a “crime thriller”, as it’s titled, but a carefully thought out look into the culture and history of Ireland. Although I thought the plot was a bit slow at times, the accumulation of events led me to believe that the pace was necessary…not only for story development, but to ensure that the reader is vying for answers just as much as the party trying to unearth them.
Haunted Ground is an exciting read that will leave the reader guessing until the last chapter. With every answer comes a new question…and with every discovery comes a new ray of hope for acceptance and peace.
NEXT WEEK: “Thou shalt learn the ways of the White Man, forget the ways of the Red Man, and be here and forever more known as a Christian.” And you thought middle school was bad…
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.