Haunted Ground by Erin Hart
A Novel

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Synopsis

A dazzling debut -- already an international publishing sensation -- combining forensics, history, archaeology, and suspense.

Introducing Erin Hart, who brings the beauty, poignancy, mystery, and romance of the Irish countryside to her richly nuanced first novel.
When farmers cutting turf in a peat bog make a grisly discovery -- the perfectly preserved severed head of a young woman with long red hair -- Irish archaeologist Cormac Maguire and American pathologist Nora Gavin team up in a case that will open old wounds.
Peat bogs prevent decay, so the decapitated young woman could have been buried for two decades, two centuries, or even much longer. Who is she? When was she killed? The extraordinary find leads to even more disturbing puzzles. The red-haired girl is clearly a case for the archaeologists, not the police. Still, her tale may have shocking ties to the present, and Cormac and Nora must use cutting-edge techniques to preserve ancient evidence.
And the red-haired girl is not the only enigma in this remote corner of Galway. Two years earlier, Mina Osborne, the local landowner's Indian-born wife, went for a walk with her young son and never returned. Did Mina simply decide to disappear, or did mother and child become lost in the treacherous bog? Could they, too, be hidden in its depths, only to be discovered centuries from now? Or did the landowner, Hugh Osborne, murder his family, as some villagers suspect?
Bracklyn House, Osborne's stately home, holds many secrets for Nora and Cormac and policeman Garrett Devaney. But time is running out. Devaney's superiors want him off the Osborne case. Now. He wants to stay and find a killer.
Meticulously crafted and resonating with traditional music and folklore, Haunted Ground celebrates Ireland's turbulent history, revealing the eternal, subliminal connections between past and present in a riveting novel that heralds the arrival of a bright new crime-writing star.
 

About Erin Hart

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Erin Hart is a theater critic and former administrator at the Minnesota State Arts Board. A lifelong interest in Irish traditional music led her to cofound Minnesota’s Irish Music and Dance Association. She and her husband, musician Paddy O’Brien, live in St. Paul, Minnesota, and frequently visit Ireland. Erin Hart was nominated for the Agatha and Anthony Awards for her debut novel, Haunted Ground, and won the Friends of American Writers Award in 2004. Visit her website at ErinHart.com.
 
Published April 8, 2003 by Scribner. 355 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, History, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Haunted Ground

Kirkus Reviews

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As Nora and Cormac search for answers, the two academics are joined by a professional: Detective Garrett Devaney of the Dunbeg Garda, who courts the wrath of his superiors and tries the patience of his wife Nuala by continuing to investigate long after Mina and Christopher’s disappearance has bee...

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ReviewingtheEvidence.com

What they do find after careful probing by hand in the gelatinous mass of wet peat, is a head with no body.

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ABC Perth

First-time novelist Hart has attempted an ambitious novel, combining elements of Irish history, politics and music with an old-fashioned gothic suspense story.

Nov 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Haunted Ground: A Novel

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