It's 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister's arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan's cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop's partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.
From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, a love story, and a historical novel while exploring the eternal question: What is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.
©2015 Anne Emery (P)2016 Recorded Books
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
This is a prequel to Emery's Collins-Burke series that is all Burke and no Collins. If I had my druthers, every book in this series would be more Burke than Collins. This story takes place in London, Dublin and Belfast during the Troubles and like Obit, the second book in the series, this one focuses not just on Father Brennan Burke but also on several members of his brilliant, but slightly manic family. One of his cousins, an IRA operative in London winds up in jail for a murder he didn't commit, and Brennan and his siblings work to get him freed and track down the real killer. The story is full of larger than life characters tied up in love/hate relationships with their family, their homeland and their church. With Father Burke, Emery has created one of the most flawed, brilliant, headstrong, stubborn and complicated characters in contemporary mysteries, all wrapped up in holy vestments. The reader is never sure which is the holier place for Burke, the cathedral or his pub.
Christian Rummel narrates all of the other books in the series and does an excellent job. However, since this takes place in England and Ireland versus Nova Scotia and since almost all the characters are Irish someone evidently decided to have Gerard Doyle narrate this book. Doyle is currently my absolute favorite narrator and I will listen to anything he reads, regardless of the nationality of the characters, but give him an Irish brogue and you have narration perfection.
This book was great. I thought I knew a pretty good amount about Irish history in general and "the troubles" in particular, but I learned a lot. I love the characters and the narration is superb!
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