MYSTERY

Fatal Roots

Crooked Lane. (County Cork, Bk. 8). Jan. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781643852393. $26.99. M
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After her grandmother’s death, Boston expat Maura Donovan moves to County Cork, Ireland, where she learns she’s inherited a cottage and a pub. Maura is settling in well, but her leisurely life is interrupted when her estranged mother and a half-sister she never knew about suddenly show up. Then, a trio of grad students arrive and ask to investigate the “fairy forts” on Maura’s land. When one of the students disappears, Maura carefully investigates the ringfort and finds the body of a man who has been buried there for several decades. Readers will be disappointed in the slow-pacing (including a tedious accounting of a kitchen remodeling project), numerous apologies by Maura’s mother, and the eventual account of the death of the unknown man.
VERDICT The story is repetitive and drawn out, and not much happens to move it along. Only fans of Connolly’s previous books, such as The Lost Traveller, will be interested enough to finish it.

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