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by Peter Tremayne
St Martin's Minotaur, December 2005
288 pages
ISBN: 0312323433

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Before I write a review for Peter Tremayne's THE LEPER'S BELL, I want to start with an apology towards the author. When I first received this book I was prepared to hate it without having read one page. I know basically close to nothing about Irish history and after I found out that the book took place in 667 AD, I groaned. I can't even picture anything in my head regarding that time period. How would I be able to visualize what I was about to read?

I reluctantly picked the book up and started reading all through the night. All my fears were for naught, I just couldn't stop reading this terrific book. It ended too soon for me. I was entranced with the book's content and I wanted to read more. It makes me wonder what else I missed.

In this superb novel in a long-running series, Sister Fidelma and her 'probationary' husband Eadulf are searching the Irish countryside in search of their son who was kidnapped after his caretaker was murdered. They have only one lead involving a group of strangers that have left town and they intend to follow it to see if they can get any information from them.

There is nothing that will get in their way in their search of their offspring. What will be a big surprise is what happens after they end their quest. It was not what was expected and it hooked me as a reader. Suffice it to say this will not be my last book from this author.

Tremayne's descriptive passages and his expert use of ancient Irish folklore and tradition enhance the story of a young woman's search for her identity and role in life. Fidelma has managed to accomplish quite a bit inside the restrictive society that she lives in and makes the best of it.

THE LEPER'S BELL brings elements of contemporary whodunits (without the need for forensics) and gives readers an interesting look at the development of Irish society and all of its accomplishments. The book has it all from action and suspense to a few moments of levity that will have readers searching for more of this author's novel. I am just sorry that I did not discover them sooner.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, January 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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