Review of TREACHEROUS STRAND (An Inishowen Mystery) by Andrea Carter


Perfect for mystery readers who enjoy character driven mysteries, with a strong female protagonist and a powerful sense of place

A woman’s body washes up on a remote beach on the Inishowen Peninsula. Partially clothed, with a strange tattoo on her thigh, she is identified as Marguerite Etienne, a French woman who has been living in the area. Solicitor Ben (Benedicta) O’Keeffe is consumed by guilt: for the second time in her life Ben has failed someone who needed her, with tragic consequences. When local sergeant Tom Molloy dismisses Marguerite’s death as the suicide of a disturbed and lonely woman, Ben cannot let it lie. Ben uncovers Marguerite’s strange past as a member of a French doomsday cult, which she escaped twenty years previously, but not without leaving her baby daughter behind. Disturbed by what appears to be chilling local indifference to Marguerite’s death, Ben pieces together the last few weeks of the French woman’s life in Inishowen. What she discovers causes her to question the fragile nature of her own position in the area, and she finds herself crossing boundaries—both personal and professional—to unearth local secrets long buried.

Treacherous Strand is the second in a series of mysteries set in the fictional town of Glendara on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal with amateur sleuth, solicitor Ben O’Keeffe. These atmospheric and immersive mysteries are being adapted as a television series to be filmed in Inishowen.   (Synopsis from Amazon)


My thoughts…4.5 stars

Benedicta “Ben” O’Keeffe is the UK’s northern most solicitor, practicing on the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal.

For me, Glendara came across as contrary. It’s cliquish, but not to an extreme. Charming, but isolated, a study in contrasts which made it more interesting.

Ben carries guilt like Atlas carries the World. She drinks too much and in TREACHEROUS STRAND she becomes a tad obsessed with proving her French yoga teacher, Marguerite Etienne, didn’t kill herself. Ben is trying to atone, in her mind at least, for having brushed Marguerite off the afternoon prior to her death. She doesn’t need guilt about another death on her conscience.

TREACHEROUS STRAND is layered, the characters, locale, and the mystery.  There was more of the solution that eluded me than I was able to solve; always a big plus for me. Another big plus is Ben herself. She drinks too much, blames herself too much, and carries more than she should, but I like her and enjoyed the time spent with her in County Donegal.  

The characters and the Inishowen Peninsula drive and define this mystery.  The location left me felling a little unsettled at times, but that only speaks to how atmospheric it is.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with Ben in Glendara and wherever her “investigations” take her.

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