The sleepy Irish village of Ballygorm is shocked one bright summer morning by the tragic news that one of their own, a successful young builder and devoted family man has been found dead, hanging in an apparent suicide.
But Parish Priest, Father Tom Regan is sceptical. Inspired by his TV detective hero, Fr Regan uses his twin role as confessional confidante and the village’s religious figurehead to investigate the mysterious death and he suspects foul play.
Piecing the clues together, he finds that his outwardly pious and tight-knit community has been harbouring a murderer in a village where everyone is a suspect. ― Goodreads
This book has started simply with the discovery of an apparent suicide. From that point, the story picks up pace and thrill as Father Tom Regan, the Catholic parish priest of the village, sensed a foul play and began his subtle enquiry and investigations.
The characters are unique and it is not hard to keep track of them all because each somehow holds a clue to solving the mystery. I like how the author describes each character in terms of their background and eventually reveals how they roles could have an effect in the pursuit of answers on the death.
I am very amused by the character of the priest. He is genuine, wise, and adorable. His position in the community as a respected religious figure makes him perfectly fit in the role of a detective trying to unravel the mystery. However, I have not gotten to know him on a deeper level. I was expecting to get a glimpse of his real world as a priest and of perhaps his personal struggle which was slightly touched in a scene where he visited an old friend.
The plot was eloquently written, fluid, and easy to follow. The setting was well in place and in following the trails of Father Regan, I felt that I have been part of this close-knit community of Ballygorm. The author described each scenario with fine details and I felt like I traveled again a world away to Northern Ireland.
“Who will benefit from the death of Lewis Tighe,” was my question when I welcomed Father Regan’s doubt that he committed a suicide. I thought I have figured it out when the untimely closeness of Tighe’s wife with the coroner took place, but I was wrong. Certainly, there was more mystery than I could predict! The real secret of the village was surprising!
Each chapter ends with a cliff-hanger, a revelation that you want to immediately find out by turning to the next chapter. I commend the author for presenting a very realistic, coherent, and organized plot with all the ingredients of mystery and suspense blended together in delightful harmony. At the end of it all, the ultimate mystery was solved and my lingering questions have been answered.
I find the ending to be emotional, perhaps because it involved a farewell from Father Regan who was well-loved by the people. As I imagined his car departing the familiar streets of Ballygorm, I was left wondering what kind of new life and adventures await this adorable priest.
I don’t really know the best way to say goodbye to a character that I have just met in a novel. I turned the final page and closed the book with a feeling of growing nostalgia weighing down in my chest.