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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 (465 )
5 star
 (124)
4 star
 (180)
3 star
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Overall
3.7 (179 )
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2 star
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Story
4.1 (180 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    MillenniumMike Aurora, IL United States 05-15-12
    MillenniumMike Aurora, IL United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2009

    Favorites are histories and mysteries. Once avid reader trying to pick up the pace again later in life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    18
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    Story
    "Good reading improves mediocre storyline"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The book was too long and the story not as interesting as I had hoped. The storyline took too many detours into the backgrounds of character's lives, to the detriment of advancing the plot. This was done to either make it as much a character study as a mystery, or, more likely, to set the stage for some of these characters to re-appear in sequels as a series. The audio book took up 10 CDs. My wife gave up after the 3rd CD. For me, this is one of those books that 2/3 of the way through when you realize it's not getting any more interesting, that you decide whether to give up reading more or you stick it out to the end just to feel that you've completed something. I stuck it out. Easily at least 25% could have been edited out without affecting the story lines, of which there were three: 1) an ancient and interesting mystery, 2) a current and uninteresting mystery, and 3) a background mystery to one of the characters that was irrelevant to the storyline.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Erin Hart again?

    No. But, I might consider buying a book because with a book you can skim over the boring parts, which you can't do when listening.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The opening was good and descriptions of the countryside were good.


    Did Haunted Ground inspire you to do anything?

    No. Maybe be more careful in what I select to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    Jennifer McMahon did a very nice job reading it; without her skills I would not have made it through the book. With some editing out of extraneous character detail and a better solution to the modern mystery this could have been a pretty good book. It started out well, but ultimately disappointed.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Shrewsbury, MA, United States 09-25-11
    Amanda Shrewsbury, MA, United States 09-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    "Lackluster"

    I've finally finished this book. Thank goodness. I never felt engaged at all or as though I knew any of the characters -- I can't even remember their names at this moment -- or what was happening plot-wise, and I honestly don't care. Even though the premise sounded interesting (albeit disturbing), the three or so sub-plots wound into one was too many, and the end was lackluster after the long road getting there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Culver City, CA, USA 11-25-05
    Frank Culver City, CA, USA 11-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    "Wish I got abridged version"

    I saw other customer recommendations for getting the abridged version and I wished that I had taken their advice. I listened to this on a road trip and it made the trip seem slower rather than faster. I think I wouldn't have minded the length if I was reading it but listening was at times tedious.

    The other problem I had with the book is that I wanted more mystery and less romance. The quality of the writing and historic detail made it better than a Harlequin-type novel but it wasn't really what I wanted. I did enjoy the information about Ireland.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorena Billings, MT, United States 04-09-05
    Lorena Billings, MT, United States 04-09-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    4
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    "Haunted Ground"

    This is the best audible book I have downloaded yet! The narration is the best part.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 03-30-05
    Jimmy Willow Springs, MO, USA 03-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    159
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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 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette Mechanicsville, MD, United States 01-31-05
    Annette Mechanicsville, MD, United States 01-31-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    105
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    "Good listen"

    This book was very enjoyable. The narrator was very good. Maybe the ending was a bit too neat, but a good listen all in all.

    1 of 2 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Memphis, TN, United States 01-03-05
    Susan Memphis, TN, United States 01-03-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not enough about the bog body"

    I found the premise of this book intriguing but the subplot of the missing woman is more dominant than the story of the bog body which was my primary interest in reading the book. The plot follows well worn conventions and the resolutions are too tidy to believed.

    While the narrator did very well doing the Irish characterizations, I found her interpretation of an American accent very flat and without nuance.

    2 of 4 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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 07-26-04
    Constance Lafayette, CO, USA 07-26-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    37
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    Overall
    "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 6 people found this review helpful
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