Saturday, June 23, 2012

What Happened In Malinmore by Kate Sweeney

Publisher:     Intaglio Publications

After her last experience in Ireland, Kate Ryan wasn’t sure that she ever wanted to go there again.  She and her friends are drawn back when Kate is implicated in the murder of Dr. Rose Clancy, a woman she never met.  The woman’s lover, Maureen Costello, is a very insistent Irish police detective who first believes Kate is involved in the crime and then pressures Ryan into investigating what happened.  As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there is a connection between Kate and the doctor and it’s not a pleasant one because it leads back to one of Kate’s old cases.  If a murder can become more sinister than the act itself, that’s what happens with this one as it becomes clear to Kate, Maggie and Aunt Hannah that there is more danger in this situation than they suspected.

Fans of the Kate Ryan series may be surprised at this fifth installment.  Although there are humorous scenes, the funny bumbling Kate of the past doesn’t appear here.  The overall feel of the story is darker than any of the previous books, which may be because the situation becomes serious very quickly.  It’s clear that a problem Kate has been dealing with for a while is becoming more dangerous as time passes. This book is also an obvious set up for the next story.  This is a Kate who finally has found the love she wants and understands how dangerous the future can be for both Maggie and her.  A sense of fear hangs over the women that hasn’t been there before.

This is still a well written book and probably a necessary one.  Sweeney has been hinting at a confrontation in the last couple of books, so it has to be resolved.  It’s a mystery in the sense that the reader will wonder where the blow is going to come from next and how Kate Ryan will deal with it.  It definitely sets you up to want to read the sixth volume in the series.  It will be interesting to see if Sweeney stays with this more serious Kate or returns to the funnier figure of the earlier books.

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