257 Following

Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic

Currently reading

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America
Nancy MacLean
Progress: 134/574 pages
The Secular Scripture: A Study of the Structure of Romance
Northrop Frye
Progress: 43/200 pages
All the President's Men
Carl Bernstein, Bob Woodward
Progress: 73/383 pages
Women's Gothic and Romantic Fiction: A Reference Guide (American Popular Culture)
Kay Mussell
Progress: 17/157 pages
The Looking-Glass Portrait
Linda Hilton
Really Neat Rocks: A casual introduction to the rocks & gems of Arizona and the lapidary arts
Linda Hilton
Progress: 61/61 pages
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Jon Krakauer

Very good, except . . . .

Haunted Ground - Erin Hart

I picked this up for a dollar at the library sale.  I try not to look at the books offered there because I could spend serious money even at bargain prices.  This happened to be standing up on display, and temptation won out.


Since it's the first of a series, I'm guessing the individual main characters will be featured again, and some of the issues left hanging at the end of this will be further explored.


The three main characters, American Nora Gavin and the Irish Cormac Maguire and Garrett Devaney, are complex and interesting, with personal histories and hang-ups that make them real.  I wanted to know more about them, to discover how they dealt with the issues raised in this novel.  It was a measure of Hart's skill that she created people I genuinely cared about.


The plot was also complex and interesting.  It begins with the discovery in a peat bog of the well-preserved head of a young woman, but quickly involves the disappearance of a contemporary woman, the wife of a local landowner.  Unfortunately for me, the secondary characters came across as much less well developed, to the point of caricature.


It was the cardboard nature of the supporting cast that pulled this down from a five to a four-and-a-half star read.  The second half-star loss came from the contrived and almost unbelievable solution to one of the mysteries.  So unbelievable, in fact, that I wasn't even interested enough after reading it to go back and figure out why they needed to bring in heavy equipment.


The archaeological aspects are fascinating, especially because, like Cormac Maguire, I was fascinated by the discovery of Tollund Man.


Hart's style is a bit dry, with a lot more narrative than dialogue or action, but this is a quiet mystery about people, not about open violence and threats of violence. 


I just wish the ending had been worthy of its build-up, but still a good read.,