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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What She Fears--To What Does the Title Refer???

What She Fears (Adam Kaminski, #4)What She Fears by Jane Gorman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Although this mystery can be read as a stand alone, it may be better to have started with the first rather than the fourth book in the series. Adam Kaminski is a Philadelphia detective who flies to Galway in an effort to surprise his fiancé, Sylvia, who is there working on some project at the University. She is less than thrilled at his arrival, which I would have thought would alert him to some problem in their relationship but he seems to have no problem with her indifference. Strange.
He, on his way to this disappointing reunion, stumbles over the corpse of young female apparently strangled to death on a secluded though heavily used pathway between town and campus. He's accosted by an archeology professor who arrives at the scene in hysterics and accuses him of her murder--so enters one of the main characters, Sean Rourke, an American. Also at the scene is Detective Superintendent, Isabel Sayers.

Having set the plot --who killed the victim, Moira Walsh and why? In a convoluted way, the investigation leads to various members of the University staff as well as a few members of the community council and tourism board. None of them are very well developed and the author drops many strings along the way--introduces situations and then just drops them. It was very frustrating. I found that when she had her characters interacting the action moved well, but if there was no conversation things just sort of died.

For example, Adam and Isabel drive out to visit Moira's parents to try to get a handle on what Moira was like and with whom she was involved. The mother is all positive about her daughter and devastated by her loss but the father seems less complimentary to her character. It seemed a strange dichotomy, yet when Adam and Isabel are back in the car they do not discuss the interview and their take on it. Why?

In another scene, Adam observes on of the suspect, Conn O'Flaherty meeting someone on a darkened street. He cannot make out who he met or what transpired. When asked Conn explodes at his being questioned but the meeting is never explained at all.

We meet Isabel's brother several times--an Irish history buff. She is ashamed of her background, he wishes to preserve it and is proud of it. He's upset at the different takes. Is this where the title comes from--what she fears? I haven't a clue. But I'd sure like to know how the daughter she gave up for adoption fits in and why that plotline is not developed more.

All in all, it's an okay mystery--but none of the characters, including the victim, are very well developed. Other than Sean, who is kind of a cold fish, their motivations are not very clear. The solution to the killing was pretty pedestrian considering the hints that might have made it more important than it was. But maybe that is how it is in real crime--nothing earth shattering or nefarious. I'm going to read the first in this series to see if knowing Adam from the beginning would have made a difference.

I received this book from Goodreads for a review.

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