The Keening: A Mystery of Gaelic Ireland

Hard Cover

Summary

There has been a guesthouse on the Tierney land in County Fermanagh for hundreds of years. Now Tierney’s Hotel is faced with a development that will block the hotel’s best feature, its view of Enniskillen Castle. But the project can be stopped if there are important historical artifacts buried on the property. Enter the archaeologists.

Mick’s ancestor, Brigid Tierney, ran the guesthouse in the late 1500s. We see Brigid and Shane and their children at a lavish banquet at the castle, home of the ruling family, the Maguires. The wine and ale flow freely, the harpist plays, the bard recites the Maguires’ heroic deeds. But one woman has a sense of foreboding. Sorcha the prophetess sees harrowing times ahead. The Tudors of England are determined to complete their brutal conquest of Ireland.

The morning after the banquet, Sorcha is found dead on a bed of oak leaves. And Shane is accused of the killing. His lawyer, Terence, conducts his defence on the hilltop that constitutes the court in 1595.

Ireland has had a complex and at times woeful history, and we see that history being played out in the lives of the Tierneys, past and present.

In 2018, the dig commences on Mick Tierney’s land. Historical artifacts? Yes. But also a sheaf of prophecies. And a body ― a bogman ― four hundred years old.

Reviews

Incredible read, terrifically plotted historical mystery with great characters and plenty of atmosphere. It was a great read; I was sad when I finished. 

- T. Howard, NetGalley