The seventh assignment undertaken by Gill's redoubtable Inspector McGarr involves him in shocking conspiracies in a village close to the Irish Sea. Investigating for the Garda (the national Irish police), McGarr must unmask the murderer of an elderly spinster, Fionnuala Walton. Together with her late partner and lover, Dan Daughterty, and his sons Tom and Dan Jr., Fionnuala had managed a successful horse-breeding business based on her experiments in eugenics. Her sisters Siobhan and Machala, as well as great-niece Deirdre, live in Fionnuala's imposing house and could have killed her, McGarr theorizes. To gather information on the Daugherty family, he asks his wife, Noreen, to lodge with the Waltons at the farm adjoining their home. Posing as a vacationer, Noreen is there and in grave danger when Tom becomes attracted to and then suspicious of her. When Tom's mother dies at the hands of the wily killer, Noreen vanishes and McGarr relies on his innate cunning to find her as well as the felon. Integral to the daring plot are the author's amazing descriptions of ancient Irish traditions still observed today and clues to the solution of McGarr's latest case. (April)
In this tale of tradition versus progress in Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains, ancient Profitt McCampbell vandalizes road construction equipment to protect his family burial ground from being uprooted for the sake of a new highway. Piper, a defrocked minister, vows to bring the old man to heel. Mysterious and evil, Piper is both bounty hunter and avenging angel. Sometime in the hazy past, McCampbell had caught Piper in a bear poaching scheme, and Piper was sent to prison. Now Piper rejoices that McCampbell is on the wrong side of the law. A strong sense of regionalism pervades the tale. One might even say that the Great Smoky Mountains and the cemetery are major characters in themselves. By the author of Hub, this second novel is recommended for most public libraries. James B. Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Lib., Alamosa, Colo.