Treacherous Strand (Inishowen Mystery #2) by Andrea Carter


“A woman’s body washes up on a remote beach on the Inishowen Peninsula. Partially clothes, with a strange tattoo on her thigh, she is identified as Marguerite Etinne, a French woman who has been living in the area. Solicitor Ben (Benedicta) O’Keefe is consumed by guilt: for the second time in her life Ben has failed someone who needed her, with tragic consequences. When local sergeant Tom Molloy dismisses Marguerite’s death as the suicide of a disturbed and lonely woman, Ben cannot let it lie. Ben uncovers Marguerite’s strange past as a member of a French doomsday cult, which she escaped twenty years previously, but not without leaving her baby daughter behind. Distrubed by what appears to be a chilling local indifference to Marguerite’s death, Ben pieces together the last few weeks of the French woman’s life in Inishowen. What she discovers causes her to question the fragile nature of her own position in the area, and she finds herself crossing boundaries – both personal and professional – to unearth local secrets long buried.”

-Synopsis from inside front cover


Cover image from StoryGraph

Treacherous Strand is book two in the Inishowen Mystery series. I enjoyed the first book and was eager to read the follow-up.

*light spoilers ahead*

At first I didn’t understand why Ben would be so preoccupied with the death of this stranger. She has a tendency to get involved in things that don’t technically involve her, and I could see this was going that route. However, she does in fact have a legitimate reason for concern and that made it believable that she would insert herself into the investigation in the way that she does.

“I had the panicky sense that Marguerite was disappearing from view too fast. She had no ancestors in the area, no parents or grandparents. It was almost as if she hadn’t been here long enough for her existence to be real, and memories are short. Soon, I was afraid there would be no trace left of her at all. She was like a footstep in the sand, washed away by the next tide.

from Treacherous Strand by Andrea Carter

The setting is arguably one of the best parts of this series. The coast of Ireland, the unpredictable ocean, wet and gloomy weather, are really the perfect setting. I would almost describe it as a cozy setting if not for the violent crimes taking place.

Ben is not exactly a strong female lead. She is more book smart than anything else, and I can’t say I enjoy watching a character repeatedly make bad decisions. It was one after the other in this book, and I was quite frustrated with her for doing things like going to see a strange man for a date in an unsafe setting, leaving her windows open at night, even for traveling with a stranger and not putting her foot down to take control of the situation. As much as Ben does investigate on her own, she mostly ends up in the mix of things and has to find a way out.

Despite that, the last third of this book more than made up for the beginning. It was such a great ending with multiple twists that just kept coming. Even the very end when things seemed rosy and happy had an extra layer of creepiness that made me want to immediately read the third book.

If you plan to read this series I would recommend checking out the content warnings on StoryGraph first to make sure it will be a good match for you.

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