cover image Atonement of Blood: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

Atonement of Blood: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

Peter Tremayne. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-04600-0

Unimpressive sleuthing and minimal suspense mar Tremayne’s 24th book set in seventh-century Ireland (after 2013’s The Seventh Trumpet). Colgú, King of Muman, has invited his sister, Fidelma, now an advocate in the law courts, and Eadulf, her husband, to a feast in honor of the late Colmán mac Lénine, “a great poet and churchman.” During the festivities, a man in religious garb attacks the monarch, crying “Remember Liamuin!” The assailant manages to stab Colgú before being killed himself. The only clue to his identity and motive is his cryptic exclamation. Fidelma undertakes to determine the reason for the attempt on Colgú’s life, even as her seriously injured brother lies at death’s door. Having characters define Irish words in dialogue (e.g., “When you married our cousin you were accepted as a deorad Dé, an exile of God, with an honour price in your own right”) may strike some readers as clunky. Agent: Charles Schlessiger, Brandt & Hochman. (July)