by Peter Tremayne
Act of Mercy
St. Martin's Press, November, 2001.
Hardcover, 268 pages.
Sister Fidelma, religieuse, sister to the King of Cashel and advocate of the Brehon courts in seventh-century Ireland, sets out on a pilgrimage from Ireland to the Shrine of St. James in Spain. Fidelma travels by ship with some of the most obnoxious pilgrims ever to set out on a pilgrimage. To make matters worse, one of the passengers, Cian, is an old flame who broke her heart ten years ago. One night during a violent storm, one of the pilgrims is apparently washed overboard, but then a bloodstained robe is found which raises the possibility that one of the pilgrims is a ruthless killer. Fidelma must find the killer before he strikes again -- no easy matter when none of the pilgrims seems willing to cooperate in her investigation.
Sister Fidelma is a charmer: she's tough, she's intelligent and she has real heart. Peter Tremayne makes the Middle Ages come to life, with fascinating observations about the culture and mores woven into an exciting thriller. Fidelma uses logic and deductive reasoning to solve her cases, and her path to enlightenment is always entertaining to observe, as is her wry humor. This is another top-notch entry in an excellent series.
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This review was published in the June, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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