It can be cruel: The Drowning Sea by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Maggie D’Arcy is back! This is the third in a series that I very much enjoy. These books can be read out of order but, if readers have time before this book’s pub date to read the other two, they are best read in order. There is a lot of backstory.

Maggie is surrounded by many people and their interrelationships. These are as much a reason for reading the novels as are the actual mysteries.

In this latest entry, Maggie and her daughter, Lilly, are spending a few months in West Cork, Ireland. They are there with Conor and his son. The history of Conor and Maggie’s relationship begins in one of the earlier books so, just for here, know that they are now a couple and that Maggie and Lilly are considering permanently moving from Long Island, New York to Ireland.

A lot happens in West Cork and Maggie, a (former) police detective, becomes very involved in all of the goings on. There are several murders, drug dealers, real estate development, immigration issues and more in these pages.

Part of the “more” has to do with goings on at an Anglo-Irish stately home in the past. Was a governess murdered? What is the story of the owner/artist who lived there with his family?

Police officers whom Maggie knew from previous cases are here along with a new detective, Ann, and various members of the force including one who is with the drugs squad. Readers also meet the people who live in the area and who are intimately involved in the events depicted. Readers also watch as Lilly falls in love with a young Polish immigrant.

This book at times moves a bit slowly over the course of its more than 350 pages. Nonetheless I enjoyed it. The sense of place is very strong. It felt a bit like I was on the cliffs overlooking the waters, on the village streets and in the homes of the characters.

Readers who already know Maggie will want to read this and catch up with her. New readers may be a bit confused at first but should be able to find their footing. Of course, they can go back to the earlier books to get a better grasp on Maggie, Conor, their pasts and more.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press-Minotaur for this title. All opinions are my own.

Pub date: 21 June 2022

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

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