Priest/sleuth Father Brennan Burke is back

Ruined Abbey
Anne Emery
$24.95, paperback, 392 pp.
ECW Press, May 2015

Ruined Abbey

Award-winning Halifax writer Anne Emery has added another instalment to the popular Collins-Burke series. Ruined Abbey, a prequel to her other books, situates priest/sleuth Father Brennan Burke in London and on the ol’ sod in the attempt to quell a number of family crises. Part mystery, part history lesson, Ruined Abbey recounts the tangle of the Northern Ireland conflict that has proved virtually impossible to unravel.

While Emery presents a clear, near-balanced account of the history of the Troubles in Ruined Abbey she seems to be an apologist for the IRA.

As interesting and well-researched as it is, there is much exposition here and at times, in the midst of the history and political discussions among the characters, and despite the occasional reminders, I often lost the thread of the mystery and forgot who was who. The heart-rending surprise ending, however, is worth the wade through.

Ruined Abbey
Anne Emery
$24.95, paperback, 392 pp.
ECW Press, May 2015

Written By

Laurie Glenn Norris is a writer and reviewer in River Hebert, Nova Scotia. Her book Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery was a finalist for the 250 Democracy Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing in 2013 and is currently optioned for a feature film.

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