Tuesday, June 16, 2020

ARC Review: The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

The Mountains Wild
Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Publication: Minotaur Books (June 23, 2020)

Description: 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 Gardaí 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: This is a beautifully written mystery which debuts a new character. Maggie D'arcy is a homicide detective who has a trauma in her past. An only child, she was raised with her cousin Erin, who was also an only child.

Erin had always been a sort of wild child and their relationship had gotten more distant as the girls grew up. When Erin decides to move to Ireland after the death of Maggie's mother, Maggie believes that she is just trying to one-up Maggie who had plans to attend Trinity College in Dublin.

But then Erin disappears and Maggie, at the urging of her father and her Uncle Danny, heads to Ireland to try to find her. She meets the housemates who shared a house with Erin and tries to retrace Erin's steps interviewing many people along the way including Conor Kearney who met Erin at a coffee shop.

Maggie also gets to know the police who are looking into Erin's disappearance. Erin stays for a couple of months but Erin isn't found and the trail grows cold. But Maggie does develop a relationship with Conor. They fall in love despite Conor's girlfriend but secrets keep them from staying together.

Maggie goes back home, marries and has a child, and becomes a police officer. Twenty-three years later, now divorced with a fifteen-year-old daughter, something new is discovered in Ireland which might finally give them a way to discover what happened to Erin.

Maggie returns to Ireland to try to pick up the pieces of the long ago investigation and to find out if Erin's disappearance is related to a number of other disappearances of young women in the same area that have happened since. But those young women's bodies were recovered and Erin's was not. In the course of searching for the latest young woman victim, a body is discovered. Erin's scarf (a distinctive gift from Maggie) is found in the grave but the body isn't Erin's.

The story is told with a number of interwoven flashbacks from memories of Maggie and Erin when they were growing up and to the investigation in 1993 besides the current investigation in 2016. There were so many twists and turns and clues and dead ends all woven into a compelling page turner.

The story is also a love letter to Ireland with its scenic beauty and complicated politics. I recommend it to fans of mysteries.

Favorite Quote:
He was angry for a while, after we split up, but now he's forgiven me for my together life, my career success, the nice house, inherited from my parents, which was half his before the divorce, the fact that I stopped loving him before he stopped loving me, the fact that maybe I never loved him at all.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I do so like a story which is basically a mystery and then has idyllic settings.

  2. I like the sounds of this. Maybe it's available on audio. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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