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Review: A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Title: A Distant Grave
Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Year published: 2021
Category: Adult fiction (mystery)
Pages: 432 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (NY), Afghanistan, and the Republic of Ireland

SummaryLong Island homicide detective Maggie D'arcy and her teenage daughter, Lilly, are still recovering from the events of last fall when a strange new case demands Maggie's attention. The body of an unidentified Irish national turns up in a wealthy Long Island beach community and with little to go on but the scars on his back, Maggie once again teams up with Garda detectives in Ireland to find out who the man was and what he was doing on Long Island. The strands of the mystery take Maggie to a quiet village in rural County Clare that's full of secrets and introduce her to the world of humanitarian aid workers half a world away. And as she gets closer to the truth about the murder, what she learns leads her back to her home turf and into range of a dangerous and determined killer who will do anything to keep the victim's story hidden forever.

Review: I brought this book on my vacation and wanted to finish it before I flew home so that I didn't have to carry it around anymore. Alas, that plan didn't work and I hauled it all over the east coast only to finish it back in Santa Barbara. Oh well. It was worth the read!

I like the characters in this book; Maggie is a smart detective, a good person, and the supporting cast (including her daughter, work partner, boyfriend, and various other cops) really rounds out the book well. I like the fact that Maggie's personal life is included in the story and it makes me wish I had read the earlier book as there are references to previous events. Don't get me wrong, you can definitely read this as a stand alone, but it makes reading the earlier book enticing.

The mysteries themselves are woven together nicely with the New York murder and the Ireland murder converging quite early on and the events in Afghanistan playing an important part. I didn't figure out who the murderer was until the characters began to lay it all out, which I like. And, it wasn't far-fetched or rushed at the end.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Literary Escapes--Afghanistan and Republic of Ireland

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