Recent Events

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

‘The Buried Girl’ by Richard Mantanari

Published by Sphere,
14 February 2019.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-6385-6 (HB)

In 1819 Doctor Rinus van Laar left Amsterdam for America taking his infant son with him. He left behind his wife, murdered by a man he had then killed. The murderer was after fourteen sketches over two hundred years old and very valuable, he failed to find them. Rinus van Laar took them with him, they were of seven vices and seven virtues.
We then go to 1868 and learn from the diary of Eva Claire Larssen aged fourteen of her journey to Abbeville, Ohio, to begin work at Godwin Hall and of her affair with the son of the owner of the Hall.

In the present day, Doctor William Hardy and his daughter Bernadette, leave New York after the death of his wife. A long-lost aunt has left him Godwin Hall set in three acres. He has plans to restore it and turn it back into a hotel.

Meanwhile in Abbeville, Ivy Lee Holgrave, Chief of Police, is trying to solve the case of two dead girls, the first of which reached back twenty-five years. Three other girls in the same year went missing and were never found. She then discovers others had disappeared from the same area over a century earlier.

When two more girls' bodies are found, the police are puzzled to find the significance of crowns of birds' wings found near the dead girls. When Ivy delves into the past deaths, she finds similarities to the present ones, part of the mystery being that each murder seems to be followed by the suicide of a local man.

On arriving at Abbeville, William visits the local Historical Society and learns a bit more about Godwin Hall. When he walks around it he feels he has been there before and finds it quite creepy, he decides they will stay at the local hotel instead of the Hall.

As William is a forensic psychologist, Ivy enlists his help in finding the murderer of the girls. Together they find a certain connection to Bruegel the painter leading them to believe if their theory is correct, that there will be more murders. Are they right and if so, can they prevent more tragedies?

William is convinced Godwin Hall has some connection to the murders but struggles to find exactly what. Can he find out in time? Then he is sent the diaries of Eva Larssen written in 1868-9, the contents of which lead him to fear for his daughter's life.

A gripping story connecting history with the present day. The reference to Bruegel's sketches of the Seven Vices and Seven Virtues I found really interesting.

Recommended for readers with a fascination for mysteries with a historical connection and creepy undertones.
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Richard Montanari was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the scion of a traditional Italian-American family, which means he learned two things very early in life. One: ravioli tastes much better than baby formula. Two: if you don't get to the table on time, there is no ravioli. After an undistinguished academic career, Richard traveled Europe extensively, living in London for a time, where he sold clothing in Chelsea, and foreign language encyclopedias door-to-door in Hampstead Heath.  Needless to say, he hawked a few more ties than tomes, but neither job paid enough to keep him in beer and skittles. So, he returned to the States and joined his family's construction firm.  Five years and a hundred smashed thumbs later, he decided that writing might be a better job. After working as a freelance writer for years, during which time he was published in more than two hundred publications -- including The Chicago Tribune, The Detroit Free Press, The Seattle Times, and many others -- Richard wrote three pages of what was to become the first chapter of  Deviant Way.  He was immediately signed to a New York agency. When he finished the book, Michael Korda signed him to a two-book deal at Simon & Schuster. In 1996 Deviant won the OLMA for Best First Mystery.

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

No comments:

Post a Comment