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Haunted Ground | [Erin Hart]

Haunted Ground

When farmers cutting turf in an Irish peat bog make a grisly discovery, the perfectly intact body of a young woman with long red hair, archaeologist Cormac O'Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin are thrown together by their shared scientific interest in human remains. Because of the preservative effect of the bog, it is difficult to tell whether the body has lain there for two decades, two centuries, or two millennia.
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Publisher's Summary

When farmers cutting turf in an Irish peat bog make a grisly discovery, the perfectly intact body of a young woman with long red hair, archaeologist Cormac O'Callaghan and pathologist Nora Gavin are thrown together by their shared scientific interest in human remains. Because of the preservative effect of the bog, it is difficult to tell whether the body has lain there for two decades, two centuries, or two millennia. As they dig into the mystery of the red-haired girl, they are drawn into the two-year-old disappearance of a landowner's wife and young son. The story delves through the many layers of Ireland's turbulent past, tracing the still-visible footprints of fortified tower houses and ancient burial mounds, ever mindful of the eternal, subliminal connections between past and present.

©2003 Erin M. Hart (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc. Published by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing Group, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"In every way, this is a debut to remember." (Booklist)
"In addition to a complex, multilayered plot that involves both contemporary and historical crimes, Hart's novel is rich in local color." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (455 )
5 star
 (123)
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Overall
3.8 (171 )
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4.1 (172 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda Bethlehem, PA, USA 11-25-03
    Linda Bethlehem, PA, USA 11-25-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    191
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    "Mysteries old and mysteries new"

    A beautiful weaving of past and present, Erin Hart leads you through several murders, one in present day Ireland and one in 1650's Ireland, and one unresolved one in Dr. Gavin's family. Examining all she shows how the past is so much a part of the present. The story is enhanced by the beautiful Irish lilt of narrator Jennifer McMahon, who is also up to the task of an American accent when needed. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the printed version half as much as as this version read by Ms. McMahon. I have recommended this audio book to my friends.

    54 of 55 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Greensboro, NC, United States 03-11-04
    Lawrence Greensboro, NC, United States 03-11-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    135
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    34
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    5
    5
    Overall
    "Wow! What a lot of fun!"

    Well-researched hybrid of historical fiction and murder mystery with a dash of Indiana Jones-style archeology thrown in. Characters are well-developed and interesting. A particular plus is the wonderful narration. This book is better experienced on audio than in text.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vivian Bastrop, TX, United States 06-30-04
    Vivian Bastrop, TX, United States 06-30-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now here is a mystery writer"

    I never fell asleep,I never skipped ahead,I never guess the ending. Need I say more.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Holloway the Pacific Northwest 01-23-09
    L. Holloway the Pacific Northwest 01-23-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding Read!!"

    I guess I understand why there are some less than enthusiastic reviews of this book. If one is looking for the simplicity of a formula romance novel, this is the wrong book. I can imagine the rich historical narrative and the exceptional literary development would be "tedious", in that case. The same goes for pulp mystery seekers. However, if a person is looking for a beautifully written, engaging, historically informative literary story, complete with sufficient mystery to keep one on the edge of one's seat throughout, and a healthy, adult sprinkling of romance, then there isn't much out there that is better than "Haunted Ground". Add to that the pleasant, lyrical narration, and it's a perfect listen!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy New Mexico 04-08-07
    Kathy New Mexico 04-08-07 Member Since 2007

    Kathy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"

    I liked this book especially well because of Jennifer McMahon, who reads superbly with an Irish accent. She clearly shifts for each character which makes it easy to follow. This book would not be nearly as good without her reading. The intertwining of the two mysteries of the bog body and the disappearance of the current landowner's wife and child make for an interesting plot. The book contains enough Irish history and country life to give a good sense of realism to the story.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 03-30-05
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 03-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Mystery, Excellent Irish Story"

    I was really drawn to the plot of this story, not because it was such a great mystery, but because the author obviously has a love of all things Irish and gives us a nice look at Irish life today. The characters of Nora Gavin, Cormac Maguire, and Garret Devaney are exceptionally well-written, but all of the characters are interesting and deserving of our attention. The two main mystery plots were less interesting and tied up too neatly at the end. I mean, who didn't know who the real killers were the moment the author introduced them? But, as I say, it was not necessarily the mystery aspect that drew me. Hats off to Erin Hart for creating such real, non-sterotypical Irish people for her first novel. I look forward to reading the further stories of Nora and Cormac. The narrator, Jennifer McMahon, was perfect.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 07-26-04
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 07-26-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautifully written and beautifully read"

    I picked this up on a whim, and now it's one of my favorite audio books. The reader is wonderful, the language is lyric and beautifully paced and the story is solid.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Bothell, WA, USA 01-27-05
    Laura Bothell, WA, USA 01-27-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really fascinating mysteries"

    Just finished listening to Haunted Ground. The two mysteries in the story are really fascinating. I learned about bog bodies, and the book inspired me to do some research on the subject on the Web. These are truly fascinating. The characters in the book are very well drawn. I found myself really caring for them, and really involved in their emotions as the answers were revealed. The ending has a surprise twist in it which is totally unexpected. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to more by the same author. And I should mention the narrator's voice and accent are wonderfully suited to the Irish setting and voices of the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph janesville, WI, USA 12-04-04
    Joseph janesville, WI, USA 12-04-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great, the 2nd time"

    I started this book, got 2 hours in and lost interest. But when it was the only book I hadn't listened to, I started again......It was great. I found myself guessing the end and never guessed right. Well.....kind of. It was great for me when I really concentrated, The accent of the narrator gave me a little trouble, but made the book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey Zephyrhills, FL, USA 04-12-04
    Tracey Zephyrhills, FL, USA 04-12-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Twists"

    Very well written and brilliant characters! Written like the wonderful classics..fullbodied and thrilling. Reminiscent of Wilkie Collins. The blending of history and contemporary is well mixed. I look forward to more from Hart.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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