As I often complain to anyone who will spare me a few minutes (and that usually reduces to a few seconds once they see I’m about to complain): I have a tower of to-be-read and to-be-reviewed books that may as well be called Eiffel for it’s height. It’s my own fault, I know. I buy books at the urging of friends, or because of a fascinating interview with the author, or because I participated in a promotion, or, as in this case, because I am already familiar with the author’s writing and just had to read more.
Many of you I hope already know Katie Sullivan from The D/A Dialogues, an often hilarious blog where Katie spars with a Druid who’s been living in her head for roughly the last 20 years. She is currently working on a series, a young adult historical fantasy novel replete with Druids and Fae, magic and mystery. I’ve read the first novel since published, Changelings: Into the Mist, and wrote a review which you may read here.
When I heard that Katie was publishing a novella, I couldn’t wait until it was available. And while I prefer to write my reviews in the form of stories, well, sometimes there just isn’t time for that. But I did write a traditional review, as would be acceptable on Goodreads and Amazon. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy it and that it makes you want to pick up your own copy of Three Ghosts.
Three Ghosts is a fast read not just because it’s only 69 pages. The author pulls you right in with a conflict between two men, Pearse Finnegan and Pat McGuire, and the woman between them, Pearse’s wife Deirdre. Pearse supposedly dies in a conflagration of an abandoned wharf, and Deirdre is gone from Ireland. Fast forward 15 years and Deirdre is back in Ireland on a mysterious assignment. There is much that is mysterious in this well-told tale, and to say too much more would give it all away.
Let’s just say, Deirdre has to come face-to-face with the ghosts of her past, not knowing which of them, if any, she can trust. In many ways, the twists and turns of this story reminded me of some of the Alfred Hitchcock movies of intrigue and betrayal. While I am by no means an expert on Irish history (recent or long past), the author Katie Sullivan appears to be quite astute with historical details as well as creating a sense of place so strong I once felt I was sitting in the table next to Deirdre and Pat as they worried over events yet to unfold.
I’ll admit I was a bit disappointed in the ending, in part because it came too soon. I would have liked to have kept reading, to have had that tell-all scene drawn out some more, to have continued to feel the rising tension as everyone slowly realizes who has been betraying who. As it was, the ending reminded me of the old Perry Mason TV episodes where Mason brings together all the suspects and then neatly points out the murderer.
Perhaps the author thought she needed to wrap things up, but she didn’t. I would have liked to have stayed in the company of Deirdre O’Brien a good while longer. While I’m not sure I would trust Deirdre as far I could throw her, she was still someone I could admire for her wit and her will. I recommend this novella in large part for the pure entertainment value of Deirdre. Perhaps, as subtle hint to the author should she read this review, we haven’t heard the last of Deirdre O’Brien.
Now, Dear Reader, get thee to Amazon and purchase your own copy of Three Ghosts!