Aidan and eight-year-old Melangell are still reeling from the loss of their wife and mother, Jenny. It is hard not to go into the past as everywhere they go reminds them of her. Lindisfarne is particularly special as it was one of the places she wrote a book about with photos taken by Aidan. Now years later, Aidan wants to show their daughter the places behind the books Jenny wrote, and give Melangell a little bit more time to say goodbye to the precious mother that raised her and loved them both with all her heart. Lindisfarne is the first place they stop and visit for a week - and accidental amateur sleuth Aidan finds himself in a very real 21st century drama.
They meet up with Jenny's friend Lucy who is teaching a course on Northumbrian saints. She has with her a young woman that is troubled and in need of the peace and quiet the remote island offers. But when Rachel ends up dead, the eyes of the law turn to everyone presently on the island. Rachel's friends trickle in, and Aidan and Lucy learn more about Rachel's past. A piece of Lucy's past is revealed as well, and suddenly things just aren't so simple anymore. Will Aidan be able uncover who killed Rachel? And with all the intrigue and suspicion surrounding the murder, will Melangell be safe as he investigates?
So I've got to admit that the setting for this novel is very different than I'm used to. While I love historical fiction of any kind, I have zero knowledge of the Celtic history. This book put a quick end to that. Sampson combines the interest of a mystery along with what can be considered dull facts of saints dead for centuries (for those of us who aren't passionate about this time period.) and created a story that stayed long with me after I was done. The way she describes the places, and the word pictures of the thoughts she was trying to convey were just excellent. I felt like I could taste the salt water at the crossing and feel the sand underneath my toes. It was the next best thing to being there and seeing it for myself.
This book was provided by Kregel Publishers for free in exchange for an honest review.