One of the things I love about reading is that I get to travel the world without ever leaving my recliner. Thanks to the immersive, beautifully descriptive writing in A Turn for the Bad (County Cork #4) by Sheila Connolly, I was able to visit Ireland this week.
From the back of the book:
The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.
After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.
Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head...
This story had a wonderful building of characters, letting me get acquainted with everyone. Since this is where I jumped into the series, I can say you may also jump in here without feeling lost. I was surprised and delighted at just how tense things became toward the back half of the book. The way things unfolded felt very much like a classic style mystery movie, of which I have watched a lot.
As I mentioned, I have never been to Ireland, outside of this book that is, but I was able to be fully immersed in the setting. The way I learned about traditions and the culture right alongside Maura was clever and very effective. I felt like I was a part of the community, which made the shock of the crime all the more powerful.
I will be looking for future parts in the series and recommend you jump in now as well.
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