Nun buried alive in coffin, mystery of murdered women of Kerry found in wedding dresses
Thriller: Unholy Murder by Lynda La Plante Zaffre, 400 pages, hardcover € 16.99; eBook £ 7.19
On a construction site in the grounds of a former convent that is now disused, a JCB exhumes a large metal coffin while digging foundations. Inside is the body of a young nun.
Detective Sergeant Jane Tennison and her partner Simon Boon, known to all as ‘Boonie’, accompany the coffin to the police morgue where, to everyone’s horror, Tennison discovers the young woman was alive when placed inside the coffin.
Tennison and Boon work hard to try to identify the deceased woman, but meet surprisingly fierce resistance from Catholic Church authorities who want to cover up the discovery and simply take possession of the body and discreetly re-bury it.
The last thing the English Catholic hierarchy wants is a scandal on the eve of Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Britain in 1982. Jane’s own superiors are happy to regard this tragic discovery as a historic case. The body could date back to the mid-1800s, when the convent was founded – and with a tight budget, why waste meager police resources on such an investigation?
But the more resistance she encounters, the harder Jane pushes back because she believes she has uncovered a much darker mystery than anything she has investigated before.
As she delves into the recent history of the convent, now closed for 20 years, she manages to identify the deceased woman, uncovers highly unsavory rumors of a story of child abuse and blatant cover-ups from the church .
La Plante delivers, as always, an exemplary and pleasantly readable police procedure.
Thriller: The Bride Collector by Siobhán Macdonald
Constable, 320 pages, paperback € 12.99; eBook £ 6.99
Kylebeggan, a bustling little town in the Ring of Kerry that relies heavily on tourism, is hit by severe winter storms when a murdered woman is found lying in her wedding dress on her bed.
Soon another dead woman is found in her apartment, with the same pose. Two weeks later, local taxi driver Ellie Gillespie drops off a bride-to-be at home after her bachelorette party. She too is found dead in the same way.
Local investigative reporter Cormac Scully, digging into the secrets of the town’s past, persuades Ellie to help him find the man now dubbed the Bride Collector before he strikes again. She has an idea of who the killer might be, but will her curiosity make her the killer’s next target?
Attractive characters, skillfully drawn and as twisty as the Conor Pass.