Review: No Strangers Here

Title: No Strangers Here
Author: Carlene O’Connor
Series: County Kerry Mystery
Source: Netgalley. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Mystery.
Explicit? No. But there are TW.
Trigger Warning: Rape, murder.

On a rocky beach in the southwest of Ireland, the body of Johnny O’Reilly, sixty-nine years old and dressed in a suit and his dancing shoes, is propped on a boulder, staring sightlessly out to sea. A cryptic message is spelled out next to the body with sixty-nine polished black stones and a discarded vial of deadly veterinarian medication lies nearby. Johnny was a wealthy racehorse owner, known far and wide as The Dancing Man. In a town like Dingle, everyone knows a little something about everyone else. But dig a bit deeper, and there’s always much more to find. And when Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien is dispatched out of Killarney to lead the murder inquiry, he’s determined to unearth every last buried secret.

Dimpna Wilde hasn’t been home in years. As picturesque as Dingle may be for tourists in search of their roots and the perfect jumper, to her it means family drama and personal complications. In fairness, Dublin hasn’t worked out quite as she hoped either. Faced with a triple bombshell—her mother rumored to be in a relationship with Johnny, her father’s dementia is escalating, and her brother is avoiding her calls—Dimpna moves back to clear her family of suspicion.

My Thoughts:

Yes. I was reading but not writing anything about it. Do I regret that now? Yes. Does that mean you might want to ignore your inbox? Maybe.

I’m trying not to carry 2022 reads into 2023 but we will see what we get.

With Carlene O’Connor I got what I always get and that is a satisfying semi-cozy mystery with lots of twists and turns and an even more satisfying A-Ha! moment.

This book is no different, and I am so glad I managed to get an advanced copy of it (even if my review is a little late…Too much book time = less computer time) because ultimately this is actually the book that kickstarted me right out of a slump I was going through.

Dr. Dimpna Wilde is a good character, she is whole, rounded and well written, with flaws and mistakes in her past and some heartbreaking life moments that she does not allow to define her (though she should probably talk to someone…seriously. So should her son.) She is inquisitive, as all mystery protagonists should be, and determined, with a heart that cares so much for animals I know we would get along just fine.

Cormac O’Brien is the kind of detective I love too, because he doesn’t take more shit than he should from anyone else, which in my estimate makes him wonderful. He’s determined enough to get the job done, but not misogynistic the way so many detectives are so I didn’t feel the need to slam the metaphorical book shut and toss away my ereader. His scenes with the other cops, and his explanation of the case, and his reprimands about disrespecting anyone were just what I needed, a balm to my weary soul shall we say.

Dingle is its own character in this novel, and it deserves it from what I can see. There’s a more than enough colourful cast of characters set against a backdrop of beautiful Irish countryside. When I closed my eyes I could picture the buildings, the cliffs and the water.

I truly cannot wait to see what comes next.


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