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Friday, December 11, 2020

Book Review: The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'Arcy's cousin Erin, who was like a sister to her growing up on Long Island, went to Ireland to sort out her life, and disappeared one day. A couple of other young women have been found murdered on the side of the same mountain where Maggie found Erin's necklace. Now another woman is missing. And a body has been discovered. Maggie, now a Detective herself, goes back over to Ireland to see if Erin's disappearance can be solved once and for all. 

The book flashes back from the "now" of 2016 to the "then" of 1993, when Maggie, in her early twenties, first went to Ireland to look for Erin. As a young woman and not a police professional, she was able to ask questions and talk to people the police couldn't (or knew they shouldn't.) She stuck her nose in where it wasn't wanted a couple of times. But overall, she's a responsible and sensible young woman, unlike the flighty and kind of crazy Erin, so things never get too out of hand. Both cousins went through some troubles growing up, each losing a parent, which accounted for a lot of their closeness, but they grew apart in high school, to Maggie's despair. 

Believe it or not, I completely buy how similar Maggie and Erin look (which gives Maggie a lot of clues she never could have otherwise gotten from people who startle when they see her) as my mother has a cousin looks as similar as a twin (looks a million times more like her than either of her full sisters. Was insanely startling the first time I met her in my mid-twenties, so I understand why people start when they see Maggie.) I do find both the title and the cover generic, which makes it difficult to tell people about the book and have them remember it, alas. But it was a great read. I whipped through it in three days and kept thinking about it in between. I didn't get on Facebook when I went to bed, and I stayed up late to keep reading. There's a second book coming out in the spring, and I am going to tackle that one very soon. Maggie nicely isn't a cliche--she's not hard as nails or married to her job or a police officer who thrives on risk. Instead, she's just very, very good at her job. Which is a nice change of pace.

This book is published by Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, my employer.

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