cover image Laws in Conflict

Laws in Conflict

Cora Harrison. Severn, $28.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8178-6

Set in 1512, Harrison’s engaging eighth Irish historical (after 2011’s Deed of Murder) takes judge Mara, Brehon of the Burren, and her law students to the city-state of Galway, “a tiny island of English law, English language, and English dress within the Gaelic land to the north, east, and south of it.” Mara wishes to expose the students to a different legal system and to help an imprisoned countryman accused of stealing a pie. Mara is dismayed to learn that the prisoner is Sheedy O’Connor, whom she’d formally declared insane, and that his accuser is cousin both to the prosecutor and the judge, who also happens to be Galway’s mayor. Operating in a foreign jurisdiction, Mara must draw on all her ingenuity to try to save O’Connor from execution. Harrison adroitly introduces her impressive knowledge of the period into a suspenseful plot that also involves murder. Agent: Peter Buckman, the Ampersand Agency. (Oct.)