Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Review: The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Title: The Mountains Wild
Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Series: Maggie D'arcy Series, #1
Published: June 2020, Minotaur Books
Format: Hardcover, 416 pages
Source: Publisher

In a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson, set in Dublin and New York, homicide detective Maggie D'arcy finally tackles the case that changed the course of her life.

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D'arcy's family received a call from the Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin's movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found.

The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardai call to say that Erin's scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie returns to Ireland, awakening all the complicated feelings from the first trip. The despair and frustration of not knowing what happened to Erin. Her attraction to Erin's coworker, now a professor, who never fully explained their relationship. And her determination to solve the case, once and for all.

A lyrical, deeply drawn portrait of a woman - and a country - over two decades - The Mountains Wild introduces a compelling new mystery series from a mesmerizing author.

My thoughts: As soon as I as heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. There are just so many things that immediately appealed to me right from the start - police procedural, the settings of Long Island and Ireland, and the fact that it is the start of a new series. Well, it completely exceeded all my expectations and then some...I loved this book!

I fully admit that this cover completely hooked me - it totally evokes the atmospheric nature of the book. And luckily the story itself captivated me right from the start. I loved that it was told all from one character's point of view - that of Maggie, who is such a great character. We see the mystery unfold layer by layer, alternating back and forth in time. It is full of richly developed characters that round out the story and quite a few times I thought I had everything figured out only to be completely blind-sighted at the end. The twists and turns are expertly thrown in so that you think you know where things are headed, but then a new clue arises to turn it all upside down.

I loved learning about the relationship that Maggie had with Erin. The little snippets we get from the past when they were young provided clues about Erin and just how troubled she really was. I also love that we get details about Maggie herself - we learn a little bit about why she became a detective and find out about the major case that made a name for her. This case, didn't quite have the ending she wanted and I wonder if it will be revisited again in future books?

This book kept me glued to the pages and the further I got into the book, the harder it was to put down. It's not so much a fast-read as it is a captivating one, where you become so engaged in what is going on that you just need to keep reading. This is more of what I would classify as a character-study than a plot-driven book and I really found that I was fascinated with the way Maggie's mind worked. She truly is a fascinating character and I hope she is the focus of the series, but I guess that is to be determined.

I loved this book and as a series debut I look forward to seeing where things go from here. All I can say is I am all in and will be anxiously awaiting the next book!


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