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Treacherous Strand: An Inishowen Mystery

Review

Treacherous Strand: An Inishowen Mystery

Following DEATH AT WHITEWATER CHURCH, set in northwest Ireland’s remote Inishowen Peninsula, bizarre events “straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie” unfold. “Donegal is the forgotten county and Inishowen is the forgotten part of Donegal.”

Maritime village Glendara’s top-cop, Tom Molloy, is “honest, principled and utterly committed to a job.” A solicitor, Ben, has “been thinking a lot about him lately.” The attorney’s name is derived from her “parents’ fondness for an obscure fifth-century Italian saint,” Benedicta. She has veiled herself in secrecy dense as an Irish mist, “careful to change my name, using my mother’s maiden name [O’Keeffe] and my own second name.”

"As herring fill the cold Irish Sea, Andrea Carter’s beguiling and complex mystery throngs with red herrings."

“Much of the town is owned by Dohertys and McLaughlins,” some not related. And some take on the names of famous forebears from maternal lineage. To differentiate, curious nicknames are adopted. Ben’s “position as an accepted outsider has allowed me to keep my past to myself, to be only who I choose to be and not what my past has made me.”

In the Anglicized version of Gaeilige, “Trawbrega or Trá Bréige is Treacherous Strand. Bréag in Irish means falsehood, lie.” On the Five Fingers Strand beach at the trá bréige, the body of a French émigré washes ashore, presumed suicide. Marguerite Etienne is also Ben’s client, who desperately wanted a will prepared for her to sign the day she died. “She was like a footstep in the sand, washed away by the next tide.” The proposed will bequeathed meager belongings to her only offspring, Adeline, who is now the de facto leader of a doomsday cult situated in Norway.

Ben learns that Marguerite had affairs with two local denizens. Neither one attended the funeral. And many other local residents act strangely, when Ben speaks about Marguerite. Even Iggy McDaid, “a martyr to the drink all his life,” sobers up and takes a job at the ferry. Perhaps Iggy forfeited Irish Anesthesia because he found Marguerite’s body. An artist, a psychiatrist and others make mysterious appearances, when Ben questions the suspicious death. Too many characters possibly involved in the case serve to confuse, not clarify.

As herring fill the cold Irish Sea, Andrea Carter’s beguiling and complex mystery throngs with red herrings. Quirky characters populate the pages, many of whom become suspects for Ben to investigate, since the garda (police) have ruled out homicide.

TREACHEROUS STRAND is Carter’s second novel released in the States, set in fictional Glendara, on Ireland’s Inishowen Peninsula. The author is a Dublin attorney turned writer. Her atmospheric mysteries will be adapted as a television series set in Inishowen. Carter said, “I’m told that the TV adaption of my first three books will start filming in 2020.”

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy (Ó Murchadha) on September 6, 2019

Treacherous Strand: An Inishowen Mystery
by Andrea Carter

  • Publication Date: September 3, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1608093042
  • ISBN-13: 9781608093045