Maggie D’arcy, the heroine of veteran crime writer Sarah Stewart Taylor’s most recent series, has undergone massive life changes in just two books. She has had to come to terms with her ex-husband’s suicide and her teenage daughter’s despair; reconnected with an old love, Conor, who has an adolescent boy of her own; and resigned from her job as a detective with the Suffolk County Police Department.
In the last episode, THE DROWNING SEA (Minotaur, 352 pp., $27.99)Taylor chooses a different rhythm, while Maggie, Conor and their children decide to spend the summer on a remote Irish peninsula. Before long, a body washes ashore under the steep, sloping cliffs.
Maggie may be taking a break from police work, ‘investigations rarely end so neatly that you can leave them behind, never to think about again. More often they dredge the past in such a way that you can’t help but take the exploded bits of it with you.” The rural setting, emphasis on family and leisurely pace provide a nice end to traditional police procedures.
Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens, his fourth appearance in Gytha Lodge’s nerve-racking… LITTLE SISTER (Random House, 400 pp., paperback, $16.99)† stands at a crossroads. At 50, he didn’t expect to raise a newborn baby conceived during “a stupid night of drunken nostalgia” with his former fiancée, but finds himself enjoying fatherhood.
And then, while sitting in a cafe garden enjoying a beer on a warm September afternoon, a red-haired teenage girl emerges from the nearby forest, covered in blood. Her name is Keely Lennox, and she and her younger sister, Nina, had recently disappeared from their foster home. Keely tells Sheens that if he wants to know what happened — and where Nina is now — he’ll need to hear the sisters’ full story, “everything that’s happened to us since we got into the health care system.”